We are aware of employee engagement as an HR concept, that essentially aligns an employee’s day-to-day participation in the office with levels of productivity, satisfaction, profits, etc. But the parameters to judge which employee is the most engaged and those who are disengaged – isn’t so simple after all.
In an office space, the concept of one-size-fits-all cannot be applicable to all employees as each one of them bring different levels of energy, skill, and productivity to the table. Hence, rather than assessing an employee’s disengagement using traditional work ethics as a yardstick, managers should rethink the concept of employee engagement to suit each individual.
Employees that are disengaged exhibit some similar behavioral patterns, such as not participating in corporate events, completing the bare minimum, absenteeism, poor job quality and missed deadlines, being indifferent and cynical, and not taking initiative.
However, as leaders, you should take a long-sighted view of this disengagement and use it as an opportunity to identify and rectify what’s going wrong and where. Instead of seeing disengaged employees as a threat, attempt to address the underlying issues and create a positive workplace culture.
So, let us help you get a fresh perspective under the microscope by busting these 3 common myths about disengaged employees!
Common Misconceptions About Disengaged Employees
Here are three misconceptions about disengaged employees that managers should comprehend in order to run their office smoothly!
Myth #1: You Can Easily Re-Engage A Disengaged Employee!
To overcome disengagement and revive an employee’s interest, you can’t just deploy employment engagement tactics. There is a distinction between engaged and disengaged employees because of a varied perception of work and degrees of interest. As a leader, you must delve into the psyche of the situation and seek to resolve the root causes of dissatisfaction and disengagement.
You must understand that regular incentivizing rewards such as perks and money may not be enough to keep employees engaged; rather, their disengagement may be rooted in their inability to grow personally and professionally in your company. As a result, as a manager, you must guarantee that they are pushed in their assignments in a way that maximizes their talent and potential. To re-engage an employee, you must first establish a healthy work-life balance for them and show them that you value their accomplishments.
Here’s what you can do: Have an honest and transparent conversation with them to understand their concerns, and then use their feedback to improve the situation. You can also conduct employee engagement surveys and actually work on the results to create better, more productive, work environs.
Myth #2: Disengaged Employees Are Lackadaisical And Poor Employees!
Pop! Bubble busted.
There is no obvious correlation between productivity and disengagement. A disengaged employee can meet deadlines and increase productivity, while a seemingly engaged employee might not. So, there is no point in compartmentalizing employees and drawing conclusions such as a disengaged employee is a bad human resource and is lazy. Because clearly, this is not the case.
A disengaged employee might be someone who used to be really passionate about their work and involved in company affairs, but over time, due to lack of appreciation and incentives, they lost the motivation to work to the best of their capacity.
Perhaps disengagement is the result of the employer’s actions rather than the employees’. If you’re a corporation that isn’t compensating for burnouts caused by excessive weekend work or a lack of a rewards and recognition program in the office, it’s possible that you’re the source of the problem. So, managers should assess where they may have fallen short of the employee’s expectations and how they might better support them.
Here’s what you can do: You can use your one-on-one sessions to check in with the employee and develop a relationship with them that allows the person to open up to you. It’s critical for managers to accept and respond to input because it could have a direct impact on how they’re handled.
Instead of asking the employee to micromanage themselves, you should take the responsibility to understand their motivations and goals and how you can support to help reach them.
Further, you can also work to tune down the hustle culture a little bit. Normalize for employees to take rest and mental health breaks – so that they can rejuvenate and come back re-energized.
Myth #3: Employee Disengagement Is An HR Zone!
As we mentioned earlier, employee disengagement may appear to be a topic on HR’s to-do list, but it is not. It has an impact on the entire office and workplace morale, which is why it falls under the purview of both management and leadership.
At the micro-level, HR representatives can take the onus of employee engagement, but when it comes to macro-level management, managers must step up. Managers can macromanage by recognizing performance, conduct coaching, implements tools and techniques, establish a safe and healthy work environment, build relations with employees, and provide moral support to employees.
Here’s what you can do: You, as a leader, can be involved in combating disengagement by conveying clearly to all employees about the company’s vision, policies, and keep everyone informed about the progress made.
You must also take responsibility for discouraging the burnout culture in the office. Furthermore, managers should also increase one-on-one sessions and make an extra effort in building rapport with employees, and guiding them on their mistakes.
To sum up, your disengaged employees aren’t lazy or bad employees, neither are they just your HR’s responsibility and lastly, they cannot be re-engaged using employee engagement strategies! So, managers, keep note of these 3 myths about disengaged employees so that it helps you build a strong and healthy office culture that soars high!