Employee disengagement is a problem that adversely affects an organization’s performance and productivity. Besides low performance and productivity, employee disengagement can also cause high turnover, misconduct, resource mismanagement, and negative customer experiences.

Organizations need to implement engagement strategies or programs such as employee recognition, team-building, professional development, and peer-to-peer to resolve employee disengagement and promote employee engagement. Managers can promote workforce engagement by clarifying the contributions of team members’ roles to organizational goals to facilitate a sense of purpose.

Work Institute conducts studies and surveys for employees and their organizations to help those organizations collect data and identify the causes of employee disengagement to help develop strategies for improving employee engagement and retention.

The Workplace Disengagement Epidemic

Although human resource managers consider qualities such as flexibility, professionalism, and positivity during hiring, employees still experience disengagement. Organizations only realize there is workplace disengagement when it is too late because it develops gradually.

Factors contributing to workplace disengagement include lack of healthy workplace relationships, recognition, purpose, career growth, and management support. While there are many factors that may contribute to employee disengagement, it’s also important to understand that employee disengagement is often a leading cause of employee turnover.

What Makes a Great Employee Disengage?

Great employees with all the right professional qualities may also experience employee disengagement, which reduces their morale and productivity. Factors contributing to employee disengagement include:

Unrecognized Employee Accomplishments

Employees are likely to feel demotivated and disengaged in an organization that fails to acknowledge their accomplishments and contributions. Recognition is also important because it can increase workplace performance by 80%. Failure to recognize accomplishment promotes poor performance as employees engage in guesswork because they can’t distinguish between mediocre from good performance.

There’s a simple way to fix this problem: give people credit where credit is due. When you recognize someone’s hard work, you’re telling everyone else that they’ve done something noteworthy. You’re showing up for others because you believe in them. Regularly make time for meeting individual employees to discuss their performance as a way to review and show attention to their positive work performance.

No Sense of Camaraderie Between Employees

The workplace environment is highly competitive as employees spend an average of 90,000 hours in the workplace. Most employees attempt to compensate for the lack of socialization with family and friends with their peer-to-peer workplace relationships.

Weak peer-to-peer relationships contribute to disengagement because they promote loneliness, accountability loss, and workplace loyalty. Managers can introduce engagement activities such as team-building outings and peer-to-peer recognition programs to develop relationships among employees. However, if other factors contribute to weak workplace relationships, repairing this can require a more complex strategy beyond organizing team-building activities.

Employees Lose Their Sense of Purpose

The modern work environment is dominated by employees who experience workplace disengagement because of losing their sense of purpose. Most of these employees want to work with organizations that allow them to contribute to the development of the larger society or purpose.

Managers can foster a sense of purpose by clarifying the company’s mission, values, goals, and how employees fit within the organization. There may also be deeper problems between the employees and their employer, that might not get addressed by attempts to clarify their company’s mission and goals. In any case of possible employee disengagement, it’s vital to employee retention to study all possible factors to craft an effective employee engagement and retention strategy.

Employees Feel That Their Growth in the Company is Stunted

Workplace disengagement may develop from employees feeling that their careers are stagnant and have hit a dead end. Employees likely feel that their professional growth is stunted due to a lack of personal and professional development opportunities.

Managers can resolve the problem and promote employee engagement by developing personal and professional development programs and opportunities, but learning what will actually drive your employees and keep them on your team, is crucial.

Management Has No Idea This is Happening

Employees can also likely experience workplace disengagement because of a lack of management involvement and support. Managers contribute to 70% of employee engagement because they serve as role models and leaders who guide performance and productivity. Therefore, managers can promote employee engagement by supporting employees through mentorship, coaching, and implementing transformational leadership, but without effectively collecting and studying the thoughts and feelings of the employees, it’s possible to miss many valuable retention opportunities.

What’s Missing for the Disengaged Employees?

Disengaged employees miss a workplace culture of feedback, trust, and open communication between them and the management. They also miss strong relationships, appropriate leadership, and management support in the work environment. Lack of respect, adequate compensation, job flexibility, job security, and proper organizational benefits are likely to promote employee disengagement.

It’s likely that no two employees in the same organization will have the same reasons for disengaging or leaving for another job. Additionally, there is not any one solution or strategy that can apply to any organization or workplace to improve employee retention. Working to build a strong and effective engagement strategy for your employees is not what your company specializes in, and your organization should keep it’s focus on what drives business. Work Institute specializes in studying employees and collecting data that shows the big picture of what is really happening away from the eyes of upper management, and find solutions to any possible problems or concerns causing disengagement in your employees.

Improve Your Employees’ Engagement Today!

Contact Work Institute today for proven and effective employee retention and engagement solutions. Work Institute’s employer engagement model provides employee engagement questions and collects data on recruitment, training, onboarding, stay, and exit interviews. By completing our online form, you can learn more about our employer engagement model and engagement strategies.

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