A study done by research firm Gallup in the US back in 2015 on employee disengagement found that a worrying 17.2% were actively disengaged, and another 50.8% were not engaged in their work. This is worrying because disengaged employees do not have the zeal to go the extra step, and might even go against the organization’s interests by sabotage.
Disengagement brings on sloppy delivery, missed deadlines uncaring customer service and other damaging habits that put the organization on a downward slope. What would an employee engagement strategist advise on re-engaging disengaged employees?
- Onboard everyone at project start
If you embark on a project without having all team members onboard, those who don’t understand what it is about will not feel the attachment, or the pressure to deliver. Having all the team members on board means that everyone is aware of his/her role in the project and works to achieve the shared objectives.
- Regular meetings
Open meetings help uncover simmering issues before they boil over. When employee dissatisfaction is solved, there is a feeling that the management is listening. Regular meetings where various issues are raised and addressed provide a venting forum.
- Draw up flexible work schedules
Behavioral experts say that different people have different productivity patterns. Some are more active in the afternoon than mornings and vice versa. Some feel at their peak energy levels when working at night like hunters. Tech has enabled working from home. Set objectives and timelines, then leave employees to work out when they will put in the work.
- Encourage personal objectives
Disengaged employees will often say there is nothing much to look forward to in the organization. This happens when career paths are not well established, and employees have no personal objectives. Asking people to elaborate on their career paths and showing them how to progress, can re-energize them to achieve these personal goals.
- Encourage side projects/ interests
Work-life balance is very important in keeping employees engaged. Everyone has a hobby or interest. Employees can be encouraged to carry out their hobbies with converging interests for the organization. If there is a chess player, for example, the organization can sponsor the player as a brand ambassador.
- Assign new challenges
Any employee engagement strategist will tell you that monotony and boredom are a big factor in employee disengagement. That clerk who has to fill a 300-page spreadsheet with repetitive figures will keep checking out social media posts. Assigning a new task e.g. developing a macro formula to make the job easier is an engaging challenge for this clerk.
Re-engaging disengaged employees involves making them feel that they are doing something worthwhile and meaningful. These few tips will see reinvigorated employees.