Unexpected Signs of Employee Disengagement You May Have Overlooked

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

Definition of employee engagement: The extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.

Definition of employee disengagement: On the opposite side of the spectrum, disengaged employees do not have a sense of loyalty and commitment towards the organization.

See the difference? It may not be easy to identify how much an employee is engaged in their work, yet it is not difficult at all to spot some common symptoms of employee disengagement. The most popular ones include:

1. Productivity and quality of work decline

Disengaged employees show little concern to the performance of themselves in particular and of the organization as a whole. They do not aim for maximum results, thus it is understandable for the department to experience a sudden drop in quality of work.

However, be wise enough as low quality of work may not always be the result of disengagement, it can be attributable to other causes as well. Remember, try to look for additional signs to dictate the problem.

2. Withdrawal from the team

Disengaged employees avoid any unnecessary conversations and discussions. They build a wall with colleagues, join no bonding activities whatsoever. Being absent from work is another symptom. Employees who take a lot of random day-offs seem to ignore deadlines, and that’s when you know they are sick of work, since it is easy to sense whether it was really due to sickness or not.

3. No eager for challenge and improvement

Normal employees see the opportunities and seize them to show their best performance. Contrastingly, those who are not engaged enough do not show initiatives in their area of work nor challenge themselves for higher results. They do not try to improve how things are getting done, and do nothing to better themselves as a part of the organization.

4. Negative attitude

If an out-going employee suddenly become quiet and stay gloomy in their own world, there are chances that they are not motivated to do the job anymore. When the heart of employees is not at where it should be, or in other words, when demotivation affects them psychologically, it is crucial to look into the matter since they are very likely to quit their job.

Having anger issues is also a sign of disengagement. Being angry can mean employees are not satisfied with their job, or that the workplace is not comfortable enough. Eventually, these signs can lead to disengagement, affecting the team's atmosphere and morale.


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