Engagement can fluctuate within your workplace, but never underestimate how much damage could be caused by long-term disengaged employees. No longer able to commit to their roles, these figures represent a challenge for even the most dedicated of team leaders!
However, if this is a problem you face, don’t despair. With the following development strategies, you’ll have your staff engaging with tasks and the company again in no time at all…
1. Give them room to talk
Disengaged employees will often be able to give you valuable insight into the cause of their discontent if they are given the room to speak.
Many may feel that their voices are not heard in the workplace, and it is important to get to the root of this issue before it becomes an even bigger challenge. Provide your employees with the space to talk about their negative experiences – and don’t feel you need to fill the silence until you really understand what is going on.
They might have some valuable insights and suggestions which can help develop a more engaged workplace. You certainly cannot be expected to implement everything they suggest, but simply providing the space to talk is a major step in the right direction.
2. Organise regular reviews
Reviews are an important part of staying engaged with employees, but in order to reap the benefits you need to tread carefully. Be mindful of how you grade performance, and give the team member reasons to feel hopeful and supported on their journey.
This isn’t to suggest that tracking performance with KPIs is not important; it is. But there are ways to go about this which will feel less combative for an employee who is already close to checking out of their role. Endeavour to connect with them and listen to what they have to say. Ask questions which allow you to uncover why it is they are so unhappy at work, and discuss practical steps which could be taken to make their time within the business more rewarding and productive.
3. Establish clear goals
Having talked through the areas where your disengaged employee is struggling, you can now begin setting goals and new targets for them to work towards. This process could feel one-sided, but should actually be a collaborative effort to draw the very best from the team member and give them room to truly contribute in the workplace.
Ensure each goal has a deadline, as this provides something tangible to work towards.
4. Praise performance
Team members need regular praise to help them stay engaged, but be sure the praise is warranted so it doesn’t start to feel disingenuous. Praise your disengaged employees when they achieve the goals you’ve set together; praise them when they complete a task or project to a high standard. Encourage them to remain engaged with the work and the company, and be sure to praise the rest of the team when they do well.