A Few Reasons Employees Might be Disengaged

Posted by April

Dec 9, 2013 1:45:00 PM

A recent Gallup survey of over 350,000 participants collected over three years, found that 70% of Americans are not engaged in their work. This potentially costs the United States anywhere from $450 to $550 billion yearly in lost productivity (Forbes).

The question that comes from this information is why are employees disengaged at work? Maybe it’s because the soda machine rarely works or the air condition is always on when it’s 40 degrees outside. More than likely though, those are not substantial reasons that employees don’t enjoy their time spent at the office. In this post, I want to discuss reasons as to why some employees may dread the work week.

After an employee is hired, are their expectations met?

A lot of times, businesses tend to focus on their progress and whether or not their expectations of a new employee are fulfilled. What about an employee’s expectations though? During the interview and hiring process, this is likely to be a topic of discussion. When a person accepts a new position, they assume employers will hold their end of the deal, whether it pertain to length of training or telecommuting privileges among other things. If those expectations aren’t met in the agreed upon time, then it makes for a bad impression of the company. The employer is then seen as unreliable and untrustworthy.

Not only does this look bad on the company, but it is also frustrating for the employee as well. They had certain expectations in mind when they started the job. They were looking for new challenges and learning opportunities to help them grow professionally, but instead all they got was a pile of frustration and stress. This can cause high turnover which costs companies greatly. So instead, make sure you are taking the effort to ensure that new hire’s expectations are being met so the company will have another successful member on its team.

What does leadership look like in the workplace?

“You can employ men and hire hands to work for you, but you have to win their hearts to have them work with you.” – William JH Boetcker

This quote is quite relevant to leadership. Sure you can hire someone to do a job and carry out tasks, but wouldn’t it better to work together towards a common goal? Leaders exude that type of attitude where working as a team is better than not. They want to share knowledge with their employees and help them to learn as much as possible.

Managers should be leaders and leaders motivate and inspire those around them. Being a manager not only requires meeting organizational goals, it also means the manager must care for and encourage the people who are working to achieve those goals.

It’s not a matter of employees completing goals, it’s that through the right leadership they do their best every time and exceed goals. Through several surveys, research shows that a major impact on employee engagement is an employee’s relationship with his or her direct supervisor (Forbes). So hone the skills of a leader and keep employees engaged through sharing knowledge, acting as a coach, and recognizing performance victories.

What do work relationships look like?

Say a new employee comes into the office and sees fellow employees acting unprofessionally. How do you think he or she would feel if people were engaging in inappropriate behavior? The new employee would probably feel very uncomfortable. And something to keep in mind is if one person feels uncomfortable there are probably others who feel the same.

It’s never fun feeling uncomfortable. You want to get up and walk out of the room. Imagine feeling like that at your place of employment, somewhere you have to spend at least 40 hours of your week. Sounds excruciatingly painful!

Remember that work relationships are meant to be professional relationships. When relationships at work cross a line, it can have a negative impact on employees’ work because they are more concerned with the happenings in the office.

There is a certain line of professionalism that shouldn’t be crossed. When co-workers view you in a different manner because of inappropriate behavior, it could tarnish your reputation and compromise their view of your professional abilities. Don’t do something that could potentially hurt you in the future. Focus on work while at the office so the opportunity to cross a line won’t present itself.

Does gossip run rampant in your office?

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” – Socrates

There’s nothing more poisoning in the workplace than gossip. Socrates said it best. Discuss ideas instead of other people. Gossip is not beneficial to you and it is not productive for the company.

No new hire, or anyone for that matter, wants to come into an environment reeking of gossip. The only thing it breeds is conflict and lower morale among employees. Other people’s business is not anyone’s concern but their own unless it directly affects your ability to do your job correctly. So put simply, steer clear of gossip. It’s not healthy for you and it’s not good for the workplace. Just don’t do it!

With all of these things in mind, make sure that you are doing your best to act professionally and provide new (and old) employees with the respect they deserve. If your company and its brand is important to you, then act in a professional manner and make a great first impression. Train leaders to be great and discourage gossip. If you want your business to be successful, keep your employees engaged and excited to go to the office. High ratings on employee retention are better than high ratings on employee dissatisfaction. Don’t be part of the statistics!

Topics: Leadership, Employee Engagement, Employee Recruitment and Retention, Empowering Your Workforce