dark haired man in white t-shirt and blazer on the phone at his desk, looking disengaged from work.
Image: © deagreez/Stock.adobe.com

How to recognise when your employees are disengaged

26 Apr 2019

Disengaged employees can be a huge source of revenue drain for companies. If you want to know how to recognise which of your employees have become disillusioned with their work, here are nine key differences between engaged and disengaged workers.

Why do employees get disengaged? It can be a result of a few different factors. Perhaps the worker’s role doesn’t align with their expectations or future goals. Their skills could be underutilised. An environment that isn’t challenging will quickly become unstimulating, which backslides into being flat-out boring pretty quickly.

Whatever the reason, it is within an employer’s interest to recognise if people within their ranks are disengaged, as disengagement tends to be synonymous with low productivity. Some estimates claim that disengaged employees cost US companies billions of dollars a year, and one can assume it is a source of revenue drain the world over.

So, how do you differentiate a disengaged employee from an engaged one? Well, there are a few key indications in terms of how these two groups will behave.

An engaged employee, for example, will be your company’s greatest advocate. They will be quick to recommend the organisation to others and sing its praises. They will take initiative and work towards solving problems so they can be the best versions of themselves at work.

If an employee is disengaged, that same motivation just won’t be present. They will probably have difficulty concentrating and will be unlikely to stretch themselves beyond the bare minimum that is necessary to fulfil the requirements of their role.

If you notice one of your employees getting a little bit isolated, this could also be a sign that they are disengaged. They may avoid management and withdraw from collaborative projects.

Is your employee exhibiting signs that they may be looking for other roles and about to quit? Have they been updating their LinkedIn and are hesitant to speak crisply about future plans? There are many reasons for these behaviours, but one of them could be that they are on the job hunt – which disengaged employees often are.

For some more tricks on differentiating between disengaged and engaged employees, check out the infographic below, brought to you by Officevibe.

disengaged employee infographic

Infographic: Officevibe

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Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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