If you joined us Thursday, April 26, for our inaugural episode of our new workshop series PRO \ FOUND, thank you! Keep giving us your great feedback. We want to make this series the best part of your week and ensure that you walk away with new concepts and strategies to implement right away.
If you have questions that didn’t get answered, please reach out to us. You can drop us a line via email or call the office.
We will be offering a recorded version of every workshop so that you can access it on-demand. The recording from Thursday’s workshop is ready and can be accessed here.
To recap, our first episode was called The Culture Crisis: Do You Have One? How Do You Fix It? and in it, we discussed how business leaders can begin to decode the behaviors and actions they’re seeing across their teams to understand what might really be going on. Keep in mind, a company culture in crisis doesn’t always reveal itself in the ways you might think. Employees don’t have to be running for the door for things to start eroding. Long before that you’ll likely experience the ill effects of a disengaged workforce which, undetected and resolved, can actually do even more damage to your business than a period of high turnover. Here are some behaviors to watch for:
SIGNS OF EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT
1. Participation in activities outside of their position responsibilities is low or absent
Work quality alone isn’t a sure indicator of disengagement. Disengaged team members may still produce high quality work because of their own personal work ethic or because they aren’t challenged by their work (which could be causing their disengagement). So instead, observe their participation in activities within your organization that are voluntary opportunities to contribute. Are they there?
2. Indulgence in ‘away from desk’ habits
Keep an eye out for easily distracted team members. Are they in the kitchen constantly? Spending tons of time in the breakroom? Repeat long lunches? Excessive smoke breaks? Now, we’re not saying you need to babysit, you employ adults, but look for distracted behaviors. An engaged employee is typically focused and working hard more often than not.
3. Curiosity and learning is absent
Are your teams sharing anything that they’ve learned with you or the rest of the team? When was the last time someone shared a helpful or interesting article? This is just one way of gauging engagement — but if it’s absent or infrequent — or your teams just don’t share your passion and commitment to continued learning, there’s likely a disengaged group in the bunch.
4. Avoidance of social interactions with team or leadership
Actively engaged employees won’t intentionally avoid these situations – they may not continually seek them out or participate in every social opportunity (because they have their own lives), but there should be a willingness and desire to participate when they can.
5. Their work is ‘good enough’
If they’re producing work that checks the boxes, but they aren’t pushing for improvement in anyway, or they always seem to be waiting on some system of checks and balances within your organization to catch their mistakes – you’ve got a disengaged employee.
6. Wouldn’t and doesn’t recommend the business
Are they referring colleagues in for open positions? Recommending their personal connections where and when they’re needed in the company? No?
7. Voices complaints, never ideas or motivation
This one seems relatively obvious, but don’t overlook what complaints coming from a high IQ employee might actually look like. They might be coming through in the form of repeat ideas or “wouldn’t it be great ifs” rather than “OMG I can’t believe my workload is this high again.”
8. “Know it all” or too good for what’s being said
Have one or a few of these on your team? Don’t mistake them for overly confident human beings. They’re likely actively disengaged employees who feel unheard.
9. Doesn’t help others
Their work is done, possibly even done well – but are they indispensable to anyone else on your team because they’re helpful? If the answer is no, you likely have a disengaged employee.
10. Lack of initiative
While this one seems obvious, it gets cloaked and missed often. If you’ve got a team member who is always waiting to be told what to do next – you don’t have someone who just prefers to work that way (which is the reason they’re likely giving), you have a disengaged employee.
But, disengaged employees aren’t the cause of your crummy office culture. They’re simply one indicator that you may have one. There are situations where there may be a few damaging cooks in the kitchen – but it’s rare. So while terminating those who are disengaged and replacing them with fresh energy may seem enticing, it won’t solve the problem long term. We discussed ways to engage and re-engage your teams during the workshop (so be sure to listen to the recording). Here’s the thing about employee engagement, it’s a constantly moving target. Creating a positive, engaged company culture requires that leadership recognize this. Here’s the other thing about employee engagement – more often than not – it’s not them, it’s you.
Let that settle in for a minute. Then shake it off and let’s keep talking, because you’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in revenue on the line. Right?
You have to inspire engagement, and that starts with less talking and more listening. When you begin to show an interest and an investment in your teams and their aspirations – they’ll begin showing an undeniable interest and investment in yours.
That looks different for every leader and every organization in terms of how it gets operationalized, which is where Magnet Consulting shines, but the basis for re-engaging and engaging employees is almost always you and the rest of the leadership team. Now, don’t mistake that focus for a willingness to turn a blind eye to team members who may be in the wrong position or just aren’t a good fit for your organization. We’re not saying you should keep the active outliers, simply that not everyone is an outlier.
We look forward to it!