Employee engagement has been a hot topic among leadership circles over the last few years. It’s estimated that employee disengagement costs the U.S. more than $450 billion each year according to a Gallup poll. More than just monetary costs, disengaged employees can also negatively affect company culture and can drag otherwise engaged employees down with them. Employees are likely to share a bad experience with ten or more people. But they will share a good experience with just three. This means that disengaged employees who don’t care about their work could be poisoning your company’s reputation.
Employee Engagement when a Team Needs to Reengage
But surprisingly, team disengagement isn’t always easy to spot. Below are four ways you can tell if it’s time to get your team re-engaged through team building events, frank conversations, or other methods of re-engagement.
1) Stress is critical to improvement. However, too much stress can be detrimental.
Sometimes, you can actually see the symptoms of stress in your office. Your teams may complain. They may also work longer hours than usual. Or you may see unexpected barriers arise with clients or products. A healthy amount of stress and urgency about tasks can be good. But its long-term effects can be disastrous.
80% of Americans report that they feel stress at work. You can help your team reduce this stress, though. Stress can disrupt brain cells and can impair memory. If you see signs of stress in your team, it’s time to act.
2) Disengaged teams will also show a lack of communication.
Collaborative teams ask questions. They also offer up suggestions for process improvement. These teams will physically show you they love their work.
Conversely, disengaged teams rarely leave their desk and engage with coworkers. They won’t dare ask questions. And they won’t offer to help or support their fellow team members. When you see these issues, the team is showing you that it’s time for you to help them re-engage.
For additional reading on this topic, you might take a look at “Improve Your Communication Skills and Increase Creativity from Your Team.“.
3) Consistent cynicism and complaining are other signs of employee disengagement.
You should expect the occasional complaint, venting session, or tough day. In fact, these things might even be healthy. Your employees coming to you with a sporadic concern is a sign that they trust you to turn a listening ear.
But when you receive complaints on a more ongoing basis about the same situations this is a more serious issue. Especially if the complaints come without solutions or a will to change.
4) Disengaged employees are order-takers. Employee engagement helps your team be more proactive.
Teams that are usually doing the bare minimum, don’t explore different avenues or ways of doing things or are showing signs of just plain laziness are good signs that it’s time to get them engaged again.
These employees are detrimental to the rest of your team and the company as a whole. It’s best to act swiftly instead of sitting back and letting the consequences get worse.
For additional reading on this topic, you might take a look at “7 Ways to Build Cooperation from Others.“.
Employee engagement is a real issue in the workplace that is better when it is faced head-on than swept under the rug. Conversations about decreased productivity or performance with your team can be uncomfortable, but they are always necessary when these circumstances arise. To ensure your company’s success, look for these telltale signs of disengaged teams, and take action.