Businesses that have fully engaged workers typically exceed other companies that have disengaged employees. For this reason, corporations are making strategic moves to completely invest time, effort and money into developing superior company cultures that keep their workers happy and productive.
However, the question for most businesses is this: "how are we able to identify an unhappy employee?"
While it might not be crystal clear which worker is unsatisfied, most of them who are disengaged typically display some characteristics - they include the following:
1) They do just enough
Unmotivated employees don't push themselves - they do the bare minimum amount of work so that they can avoid being reprimanded by their superiors. This individual is leached of both passion and enthusiasm - all they care about is the pay cheque.
2) They're constantly M.I.A
These workers are constantly nowhere to be found: they're either always late or the first to race out of the office.
3) They're loners
A telling sign that your worker is disengaged is when they steer clear of company events and don't engage with other employees.
4) They're constantly complaining
Whether it's badmouthing the company, insulting other employees/managers, these workers always find something negative to gripe about.
5) They're typically uncooperative
Dissatisfied employees never show any solidarity with their team or the company as a whole. For example, they're the ones bickering about spending an extra hour to complete a team assignment
Now that we've identified some typical signs, let's explore ways of tackling this issue:
1) Re-examine the relationship with the immediate manager
It is a well-known fact that the relationship an employee has with their superior influences their level of engagement. As such, it is expedient to evaluate all the managers who have teams under them.
Here are some questions to keep in mind as the leaders are being assessed:
- What is the level of personal involvement they have with their subordinates?
- How well do they delegate and capitalise on their raw talent?
- How often do they acknowledge accomplishments?
The answers to these questions would give your company a clear outline for improvement.
2) Explore a reverse kind of accountability
The next step to incorporate a policy that champions the idea that managers are also answerable to their team. This can take the form of an annual survey wherein employees evaluate their superiors.
The benefit of this approach is that it allows for transparency and enables managers to know which areas to work on.
3) Know what motivates your people
The thinking that your workers all respond the same way to say the "carrot and stick" management style (where managers reward and reprimand workers as a way to control them) is a dated one.
Employees respond differently to corporate stimuli. It is the job of the manager to get to know the employee and figure out what they best react to.
4) Develop a wide-range of employee motivators
So whether it's flexible schedules, working remotely from home, overseas experience, or paying off student loans, companies need to find an assortment of compensation "stimuli", other than just money to garner employee engagement.
5) Get rid of any unfairness
A common reason employees disengage with their company is when they feel unfairly treated - for example, being overlooked for a promotion. Businesses need to ensure that their policies treat all workers fairly.
If you consider the real benefits to you and your team as to everyone pulling their weight, then the choice to engage is obvious. As are the next steps...
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