What inspires you to start your day besides the comfort of a warm cup of pumpkin spice coffee? As for me, being a part of a human-focused company is what drives me to show up to work every day, working alongside like-minded individuals.
However, not everyone shares the same motivation, particularly those who are disengaged at work.
The 2022 State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup has revealed alarming rates of lack of engagement and unhappiness among workers, in addition to dissatisfaction. The report states that 60% of people feel emotionally detached from their work, with 19% even identifying as being miserable. In the U.S., half of the workers report feeling stressed every day, while 41% feel worried, 22% feel sad, and 18% feel angry. The growing number of disengaged employees in the workforce highlights the importance of creating a human-centered workplace, and makes me even more grateful for my own positive working situation.
What is employee disengagement?
When discussing employee engagement, it’s not simply about satisfaction. It involves employees having a personal connection to their work and displaying enthusiasm and energy towards it. Engagement is the result of various factors contributing to the overall employee experience.
What are the signs of employee disengagement?
Many disengaged employees experience a state of constant lethargy, similar to waking up with a low-grade fever. They don’t feel their best, but they don’t feel bad enough to stay in bed, so they go through the motions of the day, feeling exhausted and counting down the minutes until they can finish for the day.
Early signs of a disengaged employee
Early signs of a disengaged employee can include a lack of enthusiasm or motivation, decreased productivity or quality of work, and a negative attitude or demeanor. Disengaged employees may also seem disconnected or uninterested in their work, demonstrate a lack of initiative or innovation, and be less likely to collaborate or communicate effectively with colleagues. Other signs can include increased absenteeism or tardiness, reduced participation in training or professional development opportunities, and a lack of engagement or participation in team meetings or company events. Identifying these signs early on can help employers take steps to address the underlying issues and prevent further disengagement.
Negative cues, whether through verbal or body language, have a significant impact not only on the disengaged employee but also on their peers. When disengaged employees exude negative energy, it can strain relationships with their colleagues, creating feelings of anger and resentment, and further hindering the process of re-engaging the employee.
Lack of socialization and participation
In an effort to maintain social activities within a hybrid workforce, organizations have implemented various creative solutions. However, some employees who are experiencing disengagement may distance themselves from group collaboration or social interactions. It’s important to be aware of employees who previously accepted invitations to social events but now decline.
Disengaged employees tend to avoid participating in social gatherings unless explicitly asked to do so. While leaders cannot force employees to form friendships, fostering a sense of community through peer-to-peer recognition can be a positive step. Team members who report having a recognition program, such as periodic excellence awards for outstanding teams, are three to five times more likely to strongly agree that they have a best friend at work.
How to engage your employees
Creating a sense of belonging is crucial for organizations to ensure employee engagement, as a lack of engagement can have a negative impact on company success. When employees feel appreciated and valued by their organization, they are more likely to be engaged, and research has repeatedly supported this idea.
To improve employee motivation, happiness, and engagement, here are additional strategies that can be implemented within your organization:
One effective way to address employee disengagement is by regularly communicating with your team members, particularly those who show warning signs. Through one-on-one check-ins, leaders can create an opportunity to discuss potential solutions and strategies for boosting engagement levels.
It’s also crucial to establish a culture of feedback, where employees feel empowered to share their thoughts and opinions about their work and the organization. Managers should be mindful of individual preferences when it comes to feedback and adjust their communication style accordingly.
Offering additional channels of communication, such as employee resource groups (ERGs), can also help address disengagement stemming from personal reasons. Moreover, research shows that over half of employees believe that their employers should provide benefits that support personal life events, indicating the importance of exploring additional avenues of personal support within your organization.
Employee surveys are a valuable tool for collecting organization-wide feedback, but they are often underutilized. Instead of relying on a formal, large-scale survey, consider using pulse surveys to keep leaders in touch with the “pulse” of their company through targeted questions about employees’ current thoughts and feelings.
For instance, if the survey indicates that one department is more disengaged than others, leaders should take the time to investigate and determine if there is a particular issue or individual causing the problem. Employee feedback is a simple yet effective way for leaders to identify risks and make informed changes to improve engagement and productivity.
While employee recognition for hard work is crucial, it’s also important to acknowledge and celebrate special moments outside of work such as birthdays, weddings, retirements, promotions, and more.
Research has shown that celebrating these achievements in the workplace can boost employee mental health by 23%. As the pandemic continues to affect our lives, it’s becoming increasingly important for organizations to prioritize employee appreciation and recognize them as individuals beyond their work roles.
Despite the simplicity and effectiveness of expressing gratitude, many organizations fail to leverage it to improve employee engagement. If you suspect a disengagement problem in your organization, it is the right time to harness the power of recognition. Introducing a recognition program that enables managers and colleagues to acknowledge each other’s contributions can be highly effective.
By cultivating a culture of appreciation, you can significantly enhance employee engagement, as well as promote connections and productivity among team members.
Linked can help a business in several ways:
- Enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction: By providing an intranet and extranet platform, Linked allows businesses to engage their staff, reflect their corporate values, and boost employee satisfaction. This can lead to improved employee retention, productivity, and overall business success.
- Improving communication with business partners and clients: Linked can also help businesses keep their partners and clients informed, engaged, and motivated. This can lead to stronger relationships with these stakeholders, increased loyalty, and potential business growth opportunities.
- Streamlining internal processes: By providing a centralized platform for information sharing and collaboration, Linked.gr can help businesses streamline their internal processes and improve operational efficiency.
- Facilitating knowledge sharing: Linked can also facilitate knowledge sharing among employees, which can lead to increased innovation, better decision-making, and improved business outcomes.
Linked can help businesses transform their operations by improving communication, engagement, and collaboration among employees, partners, and clients.