4 Signs That Your Employees May be Disengaged

Employee disengagement is a major issue around the world and one Gallup study found that only 13% of employees feel actively engaged in their job. This should be an alarming number for any business. Less engagement leads to lower productivity, employee retention issues, and can affect morale at every level of your organisation. The worst part in all of this is that many businesses don’t even know how to tell if one or most of their employees are disengaged. Here are some of the signs of poor employee engagement that you should be looking for.

Sliding Performance
This is probably the clearest sign that there is something wrong with an employee’s engagement level. However, you have to know how to evaluate performance and have historical data to be able to compare past performance to current productivity. You should also have multiple criteria by which you judge performance on.

An employee might be doing great when it comes to their competencies, but their behaviour might be worsening. Or maybe they don’t care about exhibiting your company’s core values anymore and are simply going through the motions.

If you want to learn more about performance management and how you can implement an employee performance management framework within your organisation, we suggest you check out the resources available on StaffCircle. They explain how an employee performance framework can help foster professional and personal growth and improve employee experiences. They also explain how you can implement performance management systems that focus on your employees as individuals first. 

You Get Zero Feedback from Your Employees
If you never hear from your employees, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is going well. You should actually be alarmed by this. Engaged employees want to get involved and give their opinions. They want to be active in the creation and implementation of new processes.

If they’re not talking to you, this is usually because they either don’t care enough or feel like dialogue is discouraged. These aren’t good things, and you should give your employees a chance to get in contact with you and give their impressions. If you take all the proper steps to facilitate dialogue and you still don’t hear from them, you might have to engage in frequent and meaningful evaluations where you will dig deeper than their performance.

Changing Demeanours and Outbursts of Anger
You may also notice that one of your employees used to be happy and seemed very motivated when you first hired them, but they now seem completely disinterested. Or maybe someone who was always known for being calm and polite suddenly starts to show anger issues. These are both things that should be concerning to you as they are clear signs that the employee is not happy in their position. Brushing off outbursts of anger as isolated incidents can be detrimental to your organisation in the long term.

Even if they’re few and far between, these incidents can start to chip away at your team’s morale and affect their overall performance.

Absenteeism and Lateness
Engaged employees arrive early and are the last to leave, while disengaged employees do the exact opposite. If you notice that some employees are routinely coming in late and are always asking to leave early for all sorts of reasons, this is a red flag. This isn’t something an engaged employee would do and could be a sign that an employee might be on their way out.

If an employee starts missing shifts for no reason, this should be cause for concern as well. You shouldn’t jump the gun and automatically apply disciplinary actions, however. If they’re a valuable employee to you, it would be better to sit down with them and get to the bottom of the issue. Try to see what is going on with their personal or professional life that leads them to be late or absent all the time.

You might find out that an employee is bored in their position and is looking for bigger challenges. In this case, you could focus on development opportunities and think about implementing a coaching or mentorship program in your organisation. If the issue is with their functions in particular, then you might want to assess their level of motivation and determine whether they see a future in the organisation.

You won’t be able to retain every employee, but it’s good to know in advance which ones are more likely to leave, and why. This will allow you to prepare for their replacement and use their impressions to make adjustments.

These are all clear signs that you may be dealing with disengaged employees. Employee engagement is something you will need to prioritise and work on consistently if you want to have a better work culture, increase productivity, and reduce staff turnover.