‘4 Tells’ that Reveal Disengaged Employees

78% of HR leaders are more concerned about the talent shortage today than they were a year ago, and there’s good reason (Spherion). It can cost 33% of an employee’s salary to replace them (HR Dive). According to Gallup, disengaged employees cost employers $3,400-$10,000 annually in lost productivity. Add to this lost revenue from dissatisfied customers and you have a clear reason to create a culture that motivates and engages your employees.

To help you get your team on the right track, start by looking for cues and signals of changing attitudes, behaviors, and performance. Here are some signs your employees are or are becoming disengaged.

  • Changes in the way they interact with others

    • Employee no longer refers others for open jobs/positions
    • They stop contributing during meetings
    • They no longer ask for help or seek opinions from coworkers
    • They chatter non-stop or wander around with no specific purpose
    • They start to avoid team participation and stop collaborating with co-workers
  • Changes in the way they interact with management

    • Employee avoids management or goes out of their way to not interact with their manager
    • They no longer want to share feedback or provide input
    • Their drive to learn decreases and they no longer take the time to learn new procedures, skills or industry trends
    • They start to make more excuses and do not take accountability
  • Changes in their work ethic

    • Employee transitions to doing the bare minimum and no longer takes initiative where they once did
    • Their performance and quality slides to being just “good enough”
    • They lose focus more easily and have difficulty concentrating on tasks
    • They start to make more mistakes and pay less attention to safety / security
    • They start to show a lack of pride in their work
  • Changes in their personality

    • Employee may start to complain more and have a poor attitude
    • They no longer provide input and may transition to more of a “go with flow/whatever” mindset
    • They start to show up late or leave early
    • They start to become quieter and more reserved

Do you have employees like this and you don’t know what to do? Start by identifying and understanding 1-2 areas of improvement. Strategize internally and incorporate employee feedback to better understand what processes need to be improved. Disengaged employees may not respond if asked directly for their thoughts and opinions. Anonymous employee engagement surveys provide employees with the opportunity to give honest and unedited feedback. This can confirm what you have observed and in many cases, provide new insights. If you are considering an employee engagement survey, check out 6 Best Practices to Prepare for an Employee Engagement Survey [eBook].