How To Disengage Employees

Most leaders recognise that employee engagement is not optional but essential to any organisation that wants to achieve significant results.  Yet some research suggest that it can be as low as 1 in every 5 employees in some organisations.  Trouble is when employees are not engaged, it is bad news on a number of fronts.

Customers and clients are going to be impacted if people are just going through the motions.

Top line sales and bottom line profits are more likely to fall.

Making change, keeping the organisation at the forefront in its field is going to be a major struggle.

In the worst case scenarios it can result in the organisation going out of business if it unable to innovate and deliver what is wanted.

While all of this worrying, the reality is that managers often have a huge impact on whether employees are engaged or disengaged.  They are the people closest to the ground floor where it is all happening.

So what might managers be doing, perhaps unconsciously, that can result in employees becoming disengaged?

Failing to keep employees informed about major decisions that are being considered or have been taken.

Failing to seek the views of employees when the organisation is facing major challenges or problems that need to be addressed.

Seeking the views of employees but never completing the loop in terms of communicating what decisions were made and why.

Seeking views and never acting on any of the ideas or contributions that are given (what I call passive involvement).

Failing to take an interest in employees and just seeing them as a number on the payroll.

Avoiding helping employees advance in their careers.

Turning down requests for employees to go on a secondment to another part of the organisation to broaden their experience

Failing to recognise the efforts and achievements of employees and just taking them for granted.

Blaming others when things go wrong rather than taking responsibility.

Taking all of the glory when something significant goes really well whether the manager had any significant role or not.

Playing off one employee or group of employees against others to get their own way.

Being inconsistent in how they treat employees and dealing with those who they think toe the line differently from those who constructively challenge.

I wonder how many of these would be on your list of things not to do and what else would you add based on your own experiences?

Duncan Brodie helps organisations, leaders and managers work together more effectively. To learn more click here.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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