Best Practices For Dealing With Disengaged Employees

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Employee disengagement can sabotage a company’s growth. Disengaged employees are not motivated to work, and are not interested in achieving any goals. This leads to a decline in their performance and makes their growth stagnant. Their underperformance can lead to obstacles in the project workflow and affect performance of other employees as well. 

One of the ideal ways to enhance employee engagement is to provide them opportunities to learn new skills. With tech tools like a LMS software, it is now very convenient to provide employees online learning solutions. Moreover, LMSs with mobile learning support make it easy for employees to learn on-the-go. 

But what happens when an employee becomes actively disengaged? In order to ensure they don’t make the work culture toxic, HR professionals and managers need to responsibly handle disengaged employees and try to re-engage them. Here are some of the best practices for dealing with disengaged employees: 

1. Study Their Behaviour

There is no need to directly take any action in regards to a disengaged employee. Managers and HR professionals need to first study an employee’s behaviour to understand the extent of disengagement in an employee. 

This will help in identifying why the employee performance has dropped. Becoming aware of the issue will make it easier to find the best way to deal with the issue. 

2. Arrange A One-On-One Meeting 

Once you have an idea about their lack of engagement and the related issues, you can engage them in a conversation to discuss it upfront. Make sure you address them individually and show concern about their declining performance. 

Your way of conversation should show that you are serious and aware of the whole picture, but the meeting is not to decide a punishment for them. Rather show them that you would like to understand their reasons for being disinterested. 

3. Actively Listen To Their Reasons 

Once you have shared your concerns encourage them to share their issues. Are they feeling any pressure? Are they bothered by any external reasons? Knowing the exact reason will help you tailor your approach. 

Practice active listening to show them that you are there to listen to their concerns. This makes them feel validated and increases the chances of converting them into an engaged employee. 

4. Provide Necessary Support 

Once you have heard them out and feel their concerns are genuine, try to figure out what would be the best way to make them feel supported. Tell them how you plan to help them out. 

This practice is to ensure the employees that they are important for the company. At the same time, they need to feel that they too need to keep up their side of the bargain. 

5. Document The Conversation

Your entire conversation with a disengaged employee needs to be documented and shared with them. It should include notes from the conversation including the changes expected from them (an action plan) and the consequences of failing to fulfill what is promised. 

Sharing everything in a written format helps employees understand the gravity of the situation and encourages them to reform their ways. Make sure they are provided the necessary support throughout the process. 

6. Recognize Positive Changes

Once an employee has shown positive changes, it is crucial to acknowledge the changes and appreciate their efforts. Failing to do so may make them feel undervalued and often leads to them quitting their jobs. 

Appreciation is a huge motivating factor. Make sure you recognize the steps they are taking in the right direction and make them feel appreciated. 

Engaged Employees Conclusion

Disengaged employees are not good for the health of your business. Try approaching such employees with patience and provide them honest feedback on their behavior. Rather than demeaning them for their lack of performance, encourage them to push them in the right direction. You can usually get more from the carrot than you will with the stick when working with employees.

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