Engagement is the difference between employees who are just going through the motions and those who strive to do their best and continually improve. The link between employee engagement levels and business value is well understood, so I am not going to go into it here. What is less understood is what employee dis-engagement looks like and what you can do about it. Here is a list of the four most common reasons why your employees aren’t engaged and some suggested solutions:
Distrust of management
If you find that your employees trust politicians more than your senior management, you have a problem. Trust is a vital part of successful engagement – if employees aren’t trusting, they won’t will themselves into their work, and will instead produce boring, run-of-the-mill work.
How to fix it: Build a culture of trust.
Trust in management can more than double the impact of engagement levels. Trust can help employees be braver in their work and build more solid relationships throughout. Open, honest and regular communication will build trust.
Staff are preoccupied with non-work things, or, occupied with the right things, but at the wrong time. Ultimately, when employees aren’t interested in what they’re working on, shoddy work is the result.
How to fix it: Establish a goal-oriented workplace.
Get employees in on the “big picture” so that they have a clear understanding of what your organization is working toward. When this happens, employees will be able to see where they fit in. Give staff regular feedback about their performance.
Complaining about management
Disengaged employees never go to their superiors when they have a problem. It’s never a good sign when an employee is short with management or avoids the subject completely and opts to turn to other employees to complain.
How to fix it: Listen.
Don’t dismiss complaints, encourage constructive criticism and really listen. Suggest a solution but don’t force yours; you don’t always have to have the quick fix. This way, employees will feel heard and become more supportive of what your organization is trying to achieve.
Lacking pride in work
Disengaged employees don’t care about the work they do. It’s as if they’ve adopted the mentality of “just get it done, it doesn’t matter anyway.” With no real interest, their products will be the lowest common denominator.
How to fix it: Look for ways to congratulate.
Get away from the big picture from time to time and focus on small goals and achievements. When employees complete goals, offer praise – this encourages them to complete more.