A research conducted by Gallup, brings awareness to the increasing concern for disengaged employees overall, but what should employers and HR specialists really be watching out for? Gallup seems to focus on how damaging actively disengaged employees are; however, I believe that both disengaged and actively disengaged employees cause the most damage to an organization.
Lets have a look at each category:
Engaged workers are the ones you look forward to seeing on Monday morning because their enthusiasm is catching. They have likely been identified as high-potential employees and feature prominently in their organization’s succession planning process. Engaged workers demonstrate:
- Consistently high levels of performance
- Natural innovation and a drive for efficiency
- Intentional building of supportive efficiency
- Clear understanding about their roles
- Emotional commitment to what they do
- High energy enthusiasm
- Commitment to their organization
Disengaged workers, on the other hand, view their jobs as an exchange of time for a paycheck. They arrive and leave on time, take their breaks, never volunteer for extra work or projects, and do little else in between beyond the minimal effort. They show little passion or creativity for their jobs and go through the motions.
Disengaged workers may have been actively engaged workers at one time. Somewhere along the way, though, they became disengaged because of a lack of career growth or promotion, a perception of salary inequity, job dislike, or distrust in their direct manager and senior management.
Actively disengaged workers are the most damaging employees in the workplace. They are unhappy and let that unhappiness show in words, attitudes and actions. They undermine the performance of others by constantly voicing their displeasure and listing the many reasons why they are so miserable in their jobs.
While it is not impossible to re-engage actively disengaged workers, it is much more challenging. Letting employees know that senior leaders are aware of employee engagement levels and are committed to taking positive action to address it is a key step.