What are symptoms of disengaged employees?

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If an employee is hitting all their business goals, does it matter if they are engaged or disengaged employees? Bottom line. Yes, it does.

An engaged employee is an employee that feels passion for their job and is committed to the company.  

Engaged employees bring high productivity and creativity to a company. In turn, that translates to intangible factors such as team spirit and company culture. On the other hand,  A disengaged employee does not feel passion for their company. The result? Disengaged employees do not enjoy going to work, do not become brand advocates, and show signs of apathy and complacency. 

The problem with disengaged employees is that their symptoms create a decrease in creativity and in company performance. As a result, their lack of commitment blees into their team dynamics and drive to reach objectives.

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So, what are symptoms of a disengaged employees?

To better relate, imagine this: You have just landed a new job, whether it’s a career change or a new company. You are excited, motivated, driven, and full of new ideas. However, after 6 months, you start to feel hopeless against the lack of support, or communication between the team. The ideas you once had – and voiced, all of a sudden don’t come to the light. You feel a loss of ambition and initiative because you feel like your growth is stunted, or maybe the values the company promised upon onboarding slowly weaken.

Disengagement can come in many different forms and ways, the important thing is to keep a pulse on employee wellbeing and feedback.

Poor performance 

Although poor performance can be pinpointed to a number of things, it is important to know it can be a result of disengaged employees. The reason being that disengaged employees feel alienated from the companies goals and objectives, and as a result, do not see the difference their work does to the overall company direction. Sadly, this results in employees’ loss of drive, ambition, and initiative.

Loss of communication

At the risk of sounding dramatic, silence is deadly. The reason being, communication is the number one tool for the transfer of knowledge, feedback, and brainstorming. However, when an employee feels disengaged, their communication will lessen. As a result, they may feel unheard, and distant from their team.

Another reason is they may feel unheard and consider new initiatives a waste, is due to the lack of action after feedback is given.

Weak time management.

The recognition that some tasks that linger for longer than they should, or unproductive time spent on meetings are all symptoms of disengaged employees. The loss of time management comes hand in hand with the feeling of being demotivated and a low sense of appreciation.

Why are employees feeling disengaged? 

So, why do employees that are well paid and in a career of their choice feel disengaged?

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Lack of support

Employees feel frustrated at the amount of support they receive from the company. Moreover, they feel that they are missing the resources or talent required for the success of their job. Additionally, the sense that the amount of the work should be shared or resolved together. 

Roadblock in career growth. 

Disengaged employees can be due to a stunt in their career path, or the glass ceiling of their company showing. Thus, employees feel no need to develop further. 

Poor peer-to-peer relationships

Lack of tools to connect and strengthen peer relationships is detrimental. The tools to store them and facilitate communication. Are essential to ensure that employees feel trust, and a bond with the team they work for in order to pursue a common goal.

Feels underappreciated

Disengaged employees often feel underappreciated and undervalued for the time and effort they put into their work. As a result, they do not see the overall help and influence their work has on organizational progress. Unfortunately, it becomes an issue for employee motivation and self-purpose

Missed expectations

Perhaps the company culture was not as strong as the employee had hoped for, or the work dynamics were different from what they had anticipated. However, in the end, missed expectations are never ideal. Particularly when employees believe they are working towards an ideal, and realize that the values preached by the company are different from reality.

Overall, Disengagement is never good, not for the employee themselves, and not for the company. However, the main tool to use as prevention and reparation is communication. Understanding and feedback are key to solve upcoming symptoms, and listening to the pain points of an employee helps employees understand.

Read more about how to talk to remote employees and ask for feedback.

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