If you’re in HR you see numbers and statistics like this every day:

  • 48% of employees don’t like their jobs
  • 80% of workers in the US feel stressed at the office
  • Only 30% are “engaged and inspired” in their careers
  • About 1 in 5 employees are actively disengaged at work

This means that every day, a good chunk of the employees walking in your door, hate every minute of being there.

Sound a little harsh? NIMBY (not in my back yard)?

Those are the wrong questions to ask. Instead of ignoring the problem – it is occurring to some degree in every organization – we should be asking how do we fix it.

Here are some thoughts on why employees disengage and what you can do about it:

  • Micromanagers: We are all familiar with the expression “people don’t quit jobs – they quit managers.” Nowhere is this truer than in the case of micromanagers. Managers too far into the weeds drive employees crazy – and out the door.
  • Lack of trust: This often goes hand in hand with micromanagers. If employees don’t feel trusted in the workplace – they disengage quickly. Clearly define what is expected, train your employee appropriately and then turn them loose. Trust but verify.
  • Average versus strong performance: Many managers put performance on autopilot. Mediocre performers and strong performers are essentially treated the same – except during annual review. Performance issues must be dealt with immediately – or you run the risk of dragging down the average for everyone.

Communication issues: Want a surefire way for rumors to start and employees to disengage? Keep them guessing. If there are not clear communications – particularly in times of uncertainty about job security or company performance – then employees will likely go to a worse case scenario. Think about how that impacts on the job performance.


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