4 Signs that Help Predict Disengaged Employees

You can't predict disengaged employees with a crystal ball

Disengaged employees in the United States cost between $450 billion and $550 billion according to a recent poll by Gallup.

Talent leaders know that bad hires and disengaged employees take a lot of time to manage while having a negative impact on both morale and performance.

As a leader, there may not be a crystal ball to tell you exactly which employees will become disengaged and leave and when…but employee engagement and retention training experts have come up with some very clear employee disengagement indicators that can help you prevent much of your unwanted employee turnover.

Why Employees Leave
Numerous studies have been conducted on disengaged employees and why employees leave. The reasons are not a surprise. In fact they are basic common sense. But each reason should be examined for ways they can be addressed before employees take off for what they expect will be greener pastures.

The High Cost of Employee Attrition
The average cost of replacing an employee is high. The cost of replacing high performing and strategic talent is even higher.  You lose not only the time and resources it took to find, hire, and train the talent, but, with each employee that leaves, you risk decreased morale, lost productivity, damaged customer relationships, and a hit to your bottom line.

Your challenge as an employer who recognizes the high cost of replacing talent is to implement the “fixes” before the employment bond is broken.

Research on Disengaged Employees to Help Predict and Prevent Unwanted Attrition
Our disengaged employee survey involved more than 97,000 respondents. We looked at both voluntary and involuntary turnover indicators at companies of different sizes, in multiple industries and in various regions. The results were compiled to reveal turnover predictors that showed a 10 percentage-point or greater difference between retained and exited employees.

Here is what we learned were the top 4 predictors of turnover from disengaged employees who leave:

  1. Dissatisfaction with team dynamics
    Employees are likely to leave if they are unhappy with their immediate supervisor or do not have confidence in the ability or commitment of the team to meet goals.
  2. Insufficient satisfaction with the job
    Employees tend to look elsewhere when they no longer enjoy their job, feel as if they are unchallenged and not learning anything new, or are in a position where their interests or strengths are not being used or appreciated.
  3. Poor fit with the corporate culture
    Employees are far more engaged in their work (and less apt to move on) when they are in an organizational culture that supports them and their needs as individuals. They want their workplace to welcome their thoughts, invest in their future, flex to accommodate their schedule and maintain a strong commitment to their wellbeing.
  4. Unclear future career path
    It is difficult for employees to stay fully engaged in their work if they see no future in it. Employees want to know how and where they fit into the organization’s plans going forward.

So what can you do to stem the outflow?

Find out what your employees are thinking!

Whether you conduct an annual employee engagement survey (our strong recommendation) or have ongoing conversations to take the pulse of your employees, you need to stay on top of what your employees need and want to remain fully engaged.

The Bottom Line
Put a talent management strategy in place that addresses their most pressing concerns and make sure they know what you are doing and why. The simple act of acknowledging that there are disengaged employees and that increasing employee engagement is a key part of the overall business strategy will begin to make a difference.

Then establish transparent goals and report regularly on your progress.

Your responsibility as an employer is to identify areas of employee engagement that need improvement before they become a reason for your talented employees to leave.

To learn more about engaging and retaining top talent, download the 3 Key Top Talent Retention Strategies You Need to Know Before it is Too Late

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