A disengaged team can be a death sentence for a business if it is not spotted and rectified quickly. Nobody is engaged 24/7, and this could be down to a number of things, including personal lives. However, if your team is disengaged the majority of the time, you’re going to notice lots of negative effects – this could eventually lead to big problems, such as disgruntled customers, a ruined reputation, and money down the drain.
Below, you’ll find 6 signs that your team is disengaged and what to do about it. Take a look:
1. You’ve Noticed Less Productivity
Productivity levels can change day on day. It can depend on the day’s tasks, distractions, mood, and so much more. It’ll ebb and flow, which is why it’s so important to identify long-term trends. If it seems that over time your productivity as a business is decreasing, your employee, or employees could be disengaged.
2. Work Is Dropping In Quality
It’s important to measure each worker individually, as one may naturally be more productive and a better worker than another. An error here and there is normal, and a brief spike in errors may be because the worker is stressed – either due to work, or because of a personal matter. However, a drop over time in work quality is a big sign that an employee is disengaging. This usually means they are starting to care less and less about their work.
3. Employees Are Late To Work And Can’t Wait To Leave
Every so often you may get a late employee, or one that needs to leave early for an important reason. However, disengaged employees will arrive late on a regular basis, and will usually try to leave early. Even if it’s just by a few minutes each day, this could suggest that they don’t really want to be there (unless a genuine reason forces them to be late, such as dropping a child to school or to a sitter).
4. Employees Use Sick Days As Often As Possible
People get sick, it’s a fact of life. However, disengaged employees will take advantage of their sick days. They may regularly call in sick on a Monday or a Friday, to elongate their weekend and delay coming back to work.
If an employee seems generally healthy, but has many sick days off, it could be because they want to avoid coming in. This is one of the biggest signs of disengagement, so keep track of sick days. Alongside employee engagement strategies to keep your team coming in to work, you should also look to seek understanding. Some employees may have chronic pain, ongoing health conditions, and even mental health issues (taking a day off work for mental health can often be very healthy).
5. Employees Don’t Want More Responsibilities
An employee that is engaged with the company and their work will usually seek out more responsibilities and challenges. If you have tried to present further opportunities, but employees become skittish and apprehensive, it may be because they are disengaged. Of course, they could just be overwhelmed with their current workload, which is why having an open door policy and being a boss who really listens is key.
6. Employees Have Gone Quiet
Some people are naturally quiet, so of course, this won’t apply to them. Perhaps an employee that once used to crack jokes no longer bothers, or they simply stop having individual and group chats at work. They may be going into their shell, steadily removing themselves from the office or work environment. If a team member is quieter than they used to be, and they are withdrawn for days or weeks at a time, there’s a high risk that your employee is disengaged. Again, this could be down to a serious personal life issue – which is why you need to stay alert and ensure that you are understanding.
Being understanding in any of these instances is key. Many of the pointers could be because your employees are disengaged, but finding out if something deeper is going on and looking to help, rather than chastise is a must.
They may have a number of things going on at home. A breakdown of a relationship, arguments with family, issues with children, and even just struggling to balance everything could lead to employees acting this way. It may not necessarily be the job or the role, which is why asking for regular feedback (anonymous may be best), and always listening and looking to help is going to be the best course of action.