Not Engaged Employees: How to Identify Not Engaged Employees and How to Get Them Engaged!
Gallup classifies employee engagement in 3 different groups: engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged. As you may have guessed, it’s easy to determine your engaged employees as well as actively disengaged employees. Engaged employees work with passion, are present, and are ‘in it’ with you. They look to move the organization forward. Your actively disengaged employees are your miserable, always complaining employees that are not just unhappy, but are making sure everyone knows it. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost U.S. employers an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually.
Many organizations focus on their disengaged employees because of the cost. But not engaged employees make up more than 50% of the American workforce. If you want to increase your overall engagement, you should focus on these people. While these people are not sabotaging, they are sleepwalking through the day and just punching a clock.
In addition to increasing engagement, focusing on not engaged employees helps with overall retention. Approximately 51% of employees surveyed by Gallup said they are actively looking for a new job.
How can you identify the workers who are not engaged?
- Initiative to do more – Don’t think because someone performs or hits their goals they are engaged. If they have a strong work ethic and have high integrity, they will perform even if they are not engaged. Check to see if they take initiative to do other things and participate in other activities. Are they eager to participate in other activities or other projects? If not, they may not be engaged.
- Celebrate success – Everyone gets involved with the team in their own way depending on their personality. Does the employee celebrate the success of the team or the success of the company? If everyone is cheering and you have one person that does not seem to care, that may be a sign of not being engaged.
- Learning & communication – Does the employee look to learn more about the company, the industry or their specific role? An engaged employee actively seeks out information and knowledge to help the company.
- Looking for ways to contribute – Is the employee looking to contribute in different ways? As mentioned previously, people with a good work ethic will complete their job. Do they go above and beyond to try to move the company forward?
- Killing time – Do they seem to just be punching a clock or killing time? Engaged employees try to make the most of every minute. Employees not engaged do what is necessary and just ‘punch the clock.’
How can you engage employees that are ‘not engaged’?
- Clear direction – Give clear direction. This means giving feedback on a timely basis, setting short term goals, setting long term goals and communicating the vision.
- Align strengths with roles – People want to use their strengths to help the company. Make sure you are putting the right people in the right seats to make the most of their skills as well as interests.
- Values and standards – Ensure your company or team actively promotes their values and purpose and holds high ethical standards. People want to be led with purpose.
- Ask for motivation – Ask key employees what their motivation is. By learning what motivates employees, you can better keep them engaged.
- Ask for ideas – Ask employees to share their ideas. People want to be heard, and taking ideas and implementing them gives people a sense of ownership and control.
- Improve communication – Improving communication in the company and on teams is crucial. This includes: setting a time for regular updates, communicating with employees in the way they want, and being transparent in both communication and follow through.
- Recognition – Recognize employees in a timely way, be sincere, make it personal, and be specific. If possible, use incentive programs to increase recognition between employees and between all levels.
- Tools & Processes – Provide the tools, processes and procedures to allow employees to be successful. Check in with employees to make sure the tools and processes provided are working as you intended.
- Fun – It’s ok to add some fun too. People that enjoy work are more engaged and more productive.
What do you do to keep your employees engaged?