The Cost of Employee Disengagement And How You Can Prevent It

by Kylee Stone Aug 5,2015

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Some statistics’s are scary to peruse. [Note: This poll is US-specific] As are some articles and reports, especially ones which are concerned with employee engagement or disengagement. They tell you how costly employee disengagement is. They tell you what are the no.1 causes of disengagement.

By the time you reach the end of the article or report, you know what the cost of employee disengagement is and you know the causes are – but you don’t know how to fix it.

Also Read: Signs That Your HR Department Is Overwhelmed

It is important to know why employees become disengaged and it is all the more important that you know how to fix it – before the situation becomes worse. Sometimes, outside factors are not at play rather, the fault lies within the organization itself, maybe even with specific people. And this is something that you need to keep in mind. That the fault does not lie with your employee, that it might lie with you.

The employees don’t know what role they play in an organization

As surprising as this fact is, it is true. An employee who does not know how they fit into the grand scheme of things cannot be a productive part of an organization. When an employee has no clue about an organization’s objectives, values, and end goals and how they are a piece of the puzzle, their motivation to work is considerably low. They do not know if their work will be valued, or even if they are on the right track.

How do you fix this? It’s simple. Clearly delineate roles and responsibilities right from the start. Lay out the goals you would like your employees to have. Collaborate with them on figuring out what role they play in the organization. And most important of all – know that every employee is vital to an organization. The moment you start weighing employees against each other, that is when you begin to lose them.

Lack of flexibility and freedom of expression

There’s no bigger downer than not being allowed to freely express ideas or having to deal with inflexible minds. And even worse, when employees cannot integrate them into the organization because their values do not align with that of the organization. That is the quickest way to alienate employees.

How do you fix this? Granted – an organization might already have a set of pre-existing values that it holds dear. But the important thing to remember is that values can change. Your core values can stay the same. But your other values will naturally undergo changes as time passes. Holding onto rigid ideas of expression and work habits can not only make many employees uneasy, but it can also quickly make them disengage.

Also Read: 5 Reasons Managers Should Have Frequent 1-On-1’s

No appreciation

Appreciation is vital to employees. Nobody is an automaton. And rare is the employee who can carry on without a word of praise or motivation. When employees feel like they aren’t getting the appreciation they deserve or even the motivation to attempt something, disengaging becomes as easy as disconnecting a wire.

How do you fix this? Employees do not have to be praised fulsomely or excessively. They do not even need extravagant rewards. It can be something as simple ( but sincere and heartfelt) as, “ I like the progress you are making. Keep it up!” and it will lift their spirits like no other.

Lack of communication

When communication is fraught with difficulties and roadblocks and feedback not allowed, there’s no transfer of information or opinions and there is no way for an employee to realize what the others are doing. And not knowing is just as bad as not doing anything. A lack of communication can effectively kill any productivity that may have been there and put off employees who will then feel disengaged from the organization.

How do you fix this? Nobody can read minds. Not employees and certainly not managers. Communication is one of the key aspects of engagement. And you need to make it a habit. Not only for yourself but also for your employees.Encourage communication. When you define clear communication channels, communication happens easily and engagement levels are high. This is because everyone knows what is going on, right from the highest executive at the top to the person at the bottom.

When agendas are clear, feedback is encouraged and communication appreciated, things are hum.

Also Read: Employee Feedback : The Do’s and Don’ts of It

Lack of opportunities

Career growth is important. If an employee’s growth at an organization is stunted or not allowed to develop, they disengage and also disrupt other employees around them.

How do you fix this? When an organization provides an employee with opportunities to grow and increase their experience, what they are doing is building assets. Investing, time, money and effort on an employee will not want to make them take a flying leap into the arms of another organization – should they get an opportunity to do so. Rather – giving an employee the opportunity to grow breeds loyalty and affection. They will stay with you through the good times and the bad, simply because helped them grow as an employee or individual.

Want to improve employee engagement at your organization? Then request a demo today to find out how Engagedly can help!

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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