Are you experiencing high employee disengagement at work?
Are you unsure about the reasons?
The ratio of disengaged employees is certainly going high and it is a matter of concern.
In fact, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.
In addition, employee disengagement leads to lack of productivity, poor work performance and increased turnover. Such massive disadvantages make it crucial for you to address the problem of employee disengagement.
However, you first have to understand the factors which lead to employee disengagement. It is with this understanding that you can take actionable steps to eradicate them.
So, let’s discuss the 7 major factors leading to employee disengagement.
7 Factors Leading to Employee Disengagement
1. Recognition shortfall
According to Gallup, lack of recognition is a major factor which leads to employee disengagement.
It is quite natural as no one feels motivated to continue working at a place where his efforts don’t get recognized.
So, to eradicate employee disengagement, you should first check if there is a shortfall of recognition in your organization.
If the answer comes out to be yes, then you should start extending regular recognition to your employees. It is not necessary to extend monetary recognition always, even a few words of appreciation can save your employees from disengagement. Further, peer to peer recognition also works wonders in eradicating employee disengagement.
You should also try to organize such relative programs in your organization. This can result in motivating the employees towards better work performance.
‘Micromanagement’ is a big factor which leads to employee disengagement.
Micromanagement is a management style wherein you constantly monitor and control your employees’ actions. You not only tell them what to do but you also keep a constant check on how they do it. When you feel they are doing their work in a different way than yours, you intervene and try to control their way of work.
It is just like snatching all the freedom from your employees and binding them to work in a certain way which you find correct. As a result, employees feel frustrated and irritated, which leads to their disengagement at work.
So, to increase employee engagement, you have to eliminate micromanagement from your organization, if it exists.
3.Lack of communication
Employee disengagement is often a product of employees’ lack of emotional connection with the organization.
Isn’t it quite natural? How can employees get engaged, devoted and dedicated towards an organization if they feel no emotional attachment to it?
Now, what forms an emotional connection between your employees and your organization?
The answer is- regular and cordial communication at all levels.
Sadly most organizations suffer a lack of communication. Employees hardly get a chance to communicate with the successive levels of management. Their communication is limited to their individual team leaders and managers. As a result, they do feel connected to their team and team managers but not to the organization.
Thus, for eradicating employee disengagement, you have to see if there is lack of communication in your organization. Every day some light hearted, informal meetings should take place where every member of the organization is present and cordial interactions take place.
4.High levels of work stress
According to Tower Watson’s Global Benefits Attitude Survey, half of the employees who experience high levels of work stress, report being disengaged at work. This implies that work stress is a prominent factor which leads to employee disengagement.
No doubt, some work stress is normal, but when it becomes too high, it leads to employee disengagement. High work stress has a number of side-effects associated with it including health problems and soured personal and work relationships. All these side-effects together contribute towards employee disengagement.
So, while paving your way to eradicate employee disengagement, you should check whether your employees suffer from high work stress. If yes, then you should do something to help reduce your employees’ work stress levels.
You can organize stress management programs, offer some paid time off for relaxation and organize fun activities in your organization.
5.Lack of empathy
Employees wish for their managers and employers to be empathetic towards them. It is quite natural as empathy is a basic human need. So, employees wish that their employers put themselves in their shoes and try to understand their feelings and emotions when they are going through some tough times.
However, most often their wish remains unfulfilled as the employers and managers do not showcase their empathy. Although they do have it in them, they don’t express it well. As a result, employees suffer a lack of empathy, which leads to their disengagement at work.
So, to cut through employee disengagement, you should see if lack of empathy is troubling your employees. If you find that it is so, then you should try to understand your employees and shower your empathy on them in times of need.
Empathy is needed now, more that ever, as work patterns are shifting in the pandemic.
6.Absence of good employee relationships
No one can work well at a place where he feels aloof and doesn’t have good relationships with others. It doesn’t matter even if he or she is passionate about their work, if they don’t feel good in the company of colleagues, they is likely to remain disengaged.
Such is the impact of employee relationships on employee disengagement.
Further, good employee relationships cultivate a happy work culture and make the employees feel good. As a result, their chances of becoming disengaged get reduced.
So, while trying to eradicate employee disengagement, you should first understand the kind of relationships your employees have.
If they have good relationships with each other, that’s great!
If not, then you should try to help them cultivate good relationships with each other. For this, it is best to organize fun group activities in your organization. It may be anything like games, competitions and let’s talk sessions.
7.Lack of transparency
‘Lack of transparency’ is a critical factor which leads to employee disengagement.
In most organizations, information doesn’t flow openly. It often remains limited to the senior management, HRs and team managers.
As a result, employees are unaware of the exact picture about why different things like formulation of new policies are happening within the organization. They have little to no say in the organization’s decision making process. The senior management takes all decisions and then the employees get to know about them. Not only this, they don’t even get the clarity about the reasons behind the decisions of the management. All this makes them feel as if they are not as important to the organization. Such lack of importance leads to their disengagement.
So, to improve employee engagement, you should first check if your organization offers a sufficient level of transparency or not. If not, then you should try to make things a little transparent for your employees.
Thus the employee engagement quotient is primary in your hands. If you are able to push to a better level, then you can acclaim yourself as a good employer. Wishing you all the best and immense success in your endeavor of eliminating employee disengagement from your organization.
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About the Author
Jessica Robinson is a woman of words, who brings with her an experience of a decade. She is an educational writer and has even penned down many motivational blogs for various websites. She spills the magic of her thoughts through her blog ‘The Speaking Polymath’. In this blog, she makes the reader experience her management proficiency along with her skill to resolve matters of global importance.