Is Employee Disengagment Affecting Your Business?

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Is Employee Disengagment Affecting Your Business?

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Business owners, be warned. According to news reports in the UK, nearly a third of workers surveyed by one consultancy company declared that they were unmotivated at work.

Should you run your own business, you need to take these statistics seriously. If you don't, your business could be under threat. Why?

Well, if your employees are disengaged from your business, you can expect the following consequences.

Your employees will be more likely to quit your employ and move into work with one of your business competitors. Not only will you then face a shortfall in staff, but especially when it comes to your top hires, you will then miss out on the skills and experiences that they brought to your workplace.

Your employees will be less likely to care about the work they have to do. They might then make less of an effort because of their low morale, and they might also fall into bad habits, such as having more sick days than they should, turning up for work late on a regular basis, and engaging in lazy behaviours instead of working diligently.

Your employees might let other people know about the way they feel. So, they might complain to other workers in your employee, and this could create a domino effect when your whole team morale drops. And they might complain on social media and business review sites, and this will damage the reputation of your company.

As an overall consequence to each of the above, your business will then see a drop in profits, and considering the high failure rate of businesses today, this could result in the closure of your business. Worried? You should be!

Signs your employees are already disengaged

Could it be that your employees are already disengaged at work? There are some clear signs that they might be, and these might be pretty obvious to you.

You might have noticed particular employees are taking more sick days than normal. While they might do this because they can't be bothered turning up to work for a business that they care little about, it might also be because they are ill with stress as a consequence of working for a business that gives them no pleasure.

As suggested, productivity might be low. You might have noticed your employees taking longer breaks than normal. They might have missed vital deadlines. And when work has been completed, the finished results might be less than you desired.

It may be apparent that your employees are unhappy when you notice their lack of enthusiasm in the workplace. Where once they were happy and raring to go, it is obvious that something is inherently wrong if their mood changes for the worst. While there might be reasons outside of your control, it could also be symptomatic of the way they feel about working for you.

The differences between a disengaged employee and a bad employee

As alluded to above, the issue might not always be that your employee is disengaged from your business. It might be that you simply have a bad employee on your hands, who, no matter what steps you take to rectify any issues, might have a bad work ethic regardless.

But how can you tell the difference?

Well, it comes down to consistency. By using time-tracking software on your office computers, and vehicle tracking for your business fleet, you can monitor your employee's performance levels. If you notice their performance levels drop over time, it might be because your employee is slowly becoming disengaged from your business.

On the other hand, if there is a regular pattern of poor performance, then it might be that the employee in question is a bad fit for your business. Of course, they might simply need some gentle encouragement or extra training, but you do need to get on top of the matter if they are regularly exhibiting lazy behaviour.

As we also alluded above, you can also tell the difference when you noticeably see a change in your employee's behaviour. If they have always dragged their feet when coming into work (probably at a later time than requested), then the fault might not lie within your business.

But if once punctual, happy, and excited employees begin to wander into work late and show telltale signs of disengagement with their body language, then it's clear there may be problems within your business.

The reasons why employees become disengaged

Okay, so let's get to the crux of the matter. If you have noticed signs of disengagement within your workplace, and your business is suffering from some of the consequences, then it's time to consider some of the reasons why. You can then start to take steps to put right anything that is inherently wrong. So, could your employees be disengaged because of any of the following?

  • There are no opportunities for career growth. Are you giving your employees opportunities for progression? We aren't only talking about progression within your company, as they might also have goals that lie outside of your company.

So, are you allowing them to take the relevant training courses? Are you giving them new opportunities to use their skills? Are you opening up promotional opportunities? Or do your employees feel as if they are stuck in a job where they aren't being allowed to develop?

You need to give them opportunities to progress, even if that ultimately means they will one day leave you. At least, in the meantime, they will perform better at work when they know that you care about their futures.

  • They feel overworked. As an employer, you need to care for your employees' wellbeing. This can include giving them the opportunity to take breaks throughout the day and taking steps to provide a healthier workplace.

And you should also place a focus on their work-life balance. But if you are always piling work on their desks, perhaps giving them cause to work overtime, then they are going to become tired, burned out, and ultimately, disengaged.

The same applies if you are forcing them to work to strict deadlines, or if you are giving them work to do that doesn't fit in with their job descriptions. Therefore, be considerate with your task delegation, and either outsource certain jobs or bring in more staff if there is too much for your current employees to handle.

  • You don't recognise their efforts. Okay, so you pay them a wage each month, so what other incentive do they need to work for you? Well, quite a lot, actually! You could verbally praise them when they have turned in good work.

You could give them the occasional boost in their pay packets when they have done something to profit your business. And you could use any one of these ideas to reward your employees.

Because let's face it, we all like to be patted on the back now and again, and we all like to feel as if we are being appreciated. You do, we are sure, and so do your hard-working employees.

To ensure that they continue to put the work in, make every effort to recognise their efforts and reward them.

  • They don't have the tools they need to work successfully. Your employees won't have any job satisfaction if they aren't able to work effectively. Despite the expense, you should give them the tools they need to get the required results, so invest some of your business profits in technologies and pieces of equipment that will aid them in their jobs.

So, you might replace old computers with newer models, for example, or you might purchase software programmes that can replace manual processes that could be limiting your employees' efforts. After purchasing something new, you should then ensure your employees have the necessary training, so they are able to utilise any new tools successfully.

  • They are affected by bad employees. Even the best of employees can be affected by any bad apples in your employ. So, if you have employees who are lax with their time-keeping and responsibilities, your better employees might start to become as complacent as they are if they notice you haven't taken steps to deal with bad behaviour.

You might also have employees in your care who bully others or gossip incessantly, and this could bring down the morale in your workplace. As an employer, you need to deal with your bad employees according to your disciplinary procedures.

If you don't, then not only might you find yourself the subject of a lawsuit if a bullied employee takes action against you for not supporting them, but you will also have disengaged staff on your hands who don't feel comfortable in your workplace.

As a business owner, you need to do all that it takes to protect your business, and that includes focusing your time and efforts on the employees in your care. Therefore, heed what we have said in this article.

If your employees are already showing signs of disengagement, then you need to rectify any issues. And if they aren't, you should still take steps to ensure that they remain loyal and productive in your business for many more years to come.

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Is Employee Disengagment Affecting Your Business?

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