In my last blog I wrote about the concept of ‘engagement’ conversations – opportunities for managers to increase employee engagement by sitting down with their team members individually and letting them know what they appreciate about them and their contributions to the team.
I received lots of feedback from people who liked the concept and were talking about how disengaged employees are detrimental to a business.
So, it seemed important to carry on this theme by summarising some of those strong messages:
“Engagement is much more than simply engaged employees working with enthusiasm and feeling a deep connection to the company, and disengaged ones feeling the opposite.”
“Disengaged employees are detrimental to your organisation because they can infect the rest of the workforce with negative views. They slow productivity and can cause key employees to leave in search of new opportunities.”
“Disengaged employees can negatively impact productivity and quality of work.”
“They are constantly dissatisfied with their current situation and that is tough to be around.”
“Disengaged employees make excuses and damage team spirit.”
“There is nothing more demoralising than a player who is not part of the team, so when the time comes to offer help, they won’t.”
“Disengaged employees shut themselves off from anyone who will challenge them to become part of the solution.”
“Less engaged teams are less productive and less customer-orientated.”
“Another cost of disengagement is increased absenteeism.”
These are just a selection of really powerful comments people made about disengagement and its detrimental effects.
From the L&D perspective, it’s all about how a change can be brought about - and it can be tough because this is about feelings and emotions. But my solution is simple. Ask yourself; is it possible for a manager to cause an employee to become disengaged? The answer should be a clear ‘yes’. In which case, the opposite is also true – a manager can make an employee engaged.
Through ‘engagement’ conversations managers can:
- ensure employees are being effectively utilised
- enrich jobs
- understand employees’ abilities
- ensure jobs provide a challenge
- recognise achievement
- give employees an opportunity to grow and learn
- create a culture of trust
- allocate sufficient resources
- recruit, reward and promote appropriately and fairly
- be accessible
- communicate widely
Those managers that are attentive to the signs of disengagement can avert the inevitable detriment.
If you have any more observations on this vital topic, or for more information about how to increase employee engagement through development, please do get in touch.
Nigel Walpole, MD, Bray Leino Learning
In my series of blogs I’ll talk through my thoughts on some of the key issues facing managers in the workplace - lessons learnt, tips for success and general musings.