As both employers and employees most likely noticed during these past years, the employment market has changed its dynamics greatly, becoming more competitive than it’s ever been. It’s exactly for this reason why companies tend to place such great emphasis on employee engagement nowadays and there’s important science behind this concept too.

Unfortunately, employee disengagement can be more harmful to a company’s healthy development than one might initially think. Employee disengagement leads to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, a higher degree of employee turnover and a lower morale at the workplace, among other consequences. 

In other words, it spells disaster for companies, so they need to act fast and foster the right kind of engagement among their employees, before they head off for greener pastures.

How Do You Recognize Employee Disengagement?

While it may be difficult at first to spot this transition, there are some tell-tale signs that give away the nearing end of employee engagement:

  • Employees will not get involved anymore and ask questions during team meetings.
  • The enthusiasm for their work seems to have waned.
  • They hide behind complaints or excuses.
  • They don’t support fellow team members.

employee disengagement
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What Causes Employee Disengagement After All?

There are many reasons why employees may no longer connect to your business culture, your company’s vision and its actionable goals. While a disengaged employee could initially be difficult to identify, the reasons behind this transition are easier to pinpoint. Let’s see what these could be:

1. No work-life balance

As we may all know, most companies out there tend to get everything out of their employees’ energy and time. This translates into a poor work-life balance, stemming from management’s expectation that the employee should prioritize their work first. 

However employees need to unwind too, they need to tend to their personal life and needs and need to steer clear of anything work-related. At least for a while. In this respect, companies that offer off-site work opportunities, on-site gym and entertainment possibilities and flexible hours do a better job of keeping their employees engaged for longer. 

Make sure you take into account what your company can offer, so that your employees will feel like they can take a healthy amount of time off from work.

2. No clarity

Forging a path ahead without any forward vision is like searching for a needle in a stack of hay. Very few employees will remain content with doing a series of daily tasks, as long as they don’t know what the bigger picture is as well and as long as they don’t have a sense of purpose. In fact, they will disengage quicker than you can imagine because there’s no vision to passionately propel them forward. People need to believe in something and to feel meaning behind what they do. 

Make sure the company’s vision is passionately infused among its top tier management, which in turn can inspire it in the employees. If it seems like it’s still fuzzy or has maybe lost its edges, attempt to redefine it by asking essential and powerful questions regarding the company’s ‘why’.

3. No growth opportunities 

Regardless of the line of work they’re in, people generally have this inherent need of evolving. They need to start in one place and know that they’ve diligently, through their own hard work and volition, reached another further one. The learning phase should never really be over, although it slows down from time to time.

Make sure you re-evaluate what your company offers in terms of personal growth, work advancement and knowledge acquisition. If there aren’t yet enough, you can always implement programs that stimulate your employees’ need for development. As a bonus, you can also make available extra human resources courses that can give staff additional valuable insight into human psychology and employee needs.

The Takeaway

Apart from these, there are, of course, many other reasons why a perfectly great employee would disengage at one point or another from their work. These also include a lack of recognition for their efforts, a lack of sense of camaraderie, a lack of proper communication with the team and so on.

All in all, employee disengagement is not a fun occurrence within a company and it certainly takes plenty of effort to undo it. But it can be done. While it doesn’t all fall on their shoulders, companies need to know their employees better and to take full responsibility for delivering an engaging workspace.