How Managers Can Better Engage Disengaged Employees

How Managers Can Better Engage Disengaged Employees
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The Good News – Managers Can Better Engage Disengaged Employees
How managers can better engage disengaged employees can be difficult to answer unless you have analyzed employee engagement survey data and identified the critical few leverage points to improve employee advocacy, discretionary effort, and intent to stay.

The Bad News – Many Managers Are Confused
Some managers think they need to keep disengaged employees on the team to avoid performance dips due to a lack of bandwidth; other leaders want to let disengaged employees go quickly to cut their losses.  We have certainly seen circumstances where it makes sense to fire toxic employees and other instances where disengaged employees can become engaged employees.

What Should You Do with Disengaged Employees?
If you observe an employee who was once eager and engaged but now seems complacent and negative, they may just need a new challenge. Sometimes just doing the “same old, same old” is the reason employees disengage. They are simply bored and feel stuck in a rut.

When this is the diagnosis, employee engagement training experts suggest you find ways to stimulate, stretch, and challenge them. But there is a danger of overloading their system unless you proceed slowly and offer guidance along the way.

Three Simple Actions to Improve Engagement Levels
Here are a few ways managers can better engage disengaged employees and spark their interest and engagement again:

  1. Give them a new but related problem to solve
  2. Ramp up what they are already doing by increasing the job responsibility, adding complexity, and expanding team connections
  3. Work together to identify an entirely new project or stretch assignment — one that will require new and desirable skills

The Bottom Line
Have a good one-on-one conversation about why they seem disengaged, make sure that they would welcome a more challenging role, and explore the possibilities together.  Remember, an engaged worker enjoys doing their work, believes their job is in alignment with their career goals, gets to utilize their strengths, and finds their job interesting and challenging.  It is your job as their manager to help make it happen.

To learn more about how managers can better engage disengaged employees, download the Top 10 Most Powerful Ways Managers Boost Employee Engagement

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