Did You Know 87% Of Workforces Are Disengaged? - Peter Boolkah

Let’s be honest: working a 9 to 5 job can be tedious and unfulfilling. In fact, according to a study by Gallup, only 13% of employees are engaged in their work. That means 87% of workers are disengaged, which can lead to all sorts of problems in the workplace. So what can you do to ensure you’re one of the lucky few engaged in your work? Read on for some tips!

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What is Employee Disengagement?

Employee disengagement is when employees are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace. They may still perform their job duties, but they’re not fully engaged or invested in their work. This can lead to several negative consequences, including decreased productivity, lower morale, and higher turnover rates.

Several factors can contribute to employee disengagement. These can include poor management, unrealistic expectations, lack of development opportunities, and feeling undervalued or unappreciated. When employees don’t feel they have a stake in their work or the company’s success, they easily become disengaged.

Disengaged employees can hurt your business in many ways. They’re less productive, which can lead to lost revenue. They may also spread negative attitudes and low morale to other employees. Additionally, high turnover rates can be costly, as you’ll need to spend time and money to recruit and train new employees.

Why do Employees Become Disengaged?

Several factors can contribute to employee disengagement. These can include poor management, unrealistic expectations, lack of development opportunities, and feeling undervalued or unappreciated. When employees don’t feel they have a stake in their work or the company’s success, they easily become disengaged.

Disengaged employees can hurt your business in many ways. They’re less productive, which can lead to lost revenue. They may also spread negative attitudes and low morale to other employees. Additionally, high turnover rates can be costly, as you’ll need to spend time and money to recruit and train new employees.

How to Motivate Disengaged Employees?

Finding new ways to activate employees is perhaps the most critical pain point that SMEs need to address. With this in mind, here are some of Richard Maloney’s golden tips for how to kickstart employee engagement.

#1 Dedicate time to reconnect with your current employees. With some encouragement and gradual training, these people could potentially become tangible assets to your business in just three months. A practical and helpful approach is to follow the SPEED rating. This simple exercise is highly effective and helps many business owners figure out how to build employee rapport. Relationship building is a proven strategy for business owners to retain the most loyal and talented employees. And as a leader, remember that it’s not how much you know but how much you care.

#2 Don’t suffer in silence. When it comes to leadership, it’s worth bringing in an expert from an outside perspective who can go in, sit down one-to-one. The expert can discuss generating the best results and traction for your company’s employee engagement.

#3 Remember the heart and brain correlation. You have to lead through the heart, and the brain will gradually start to repair itself. Many of today’s top business leaders use this simple yet exceptionally neurologically analogy.

Whichever way you look at it, employee engagement affects all organisations on some level. Research proves that as few as 13% of employees worldwide go the extra mile on a typical workday, which is lower in the UK at just 8%. Over time, this ‘bare minimum’ approach often causes the most damage to the health of any business.

The way to tackle this problem is to continuously (but carefully) push employees out of their comfort zone and let them experience real growth and change. The ultimate goal for SMEs is to crack high levels of communication, quality and transparency so that unity and trust-building start to happen naturally.

Highly Engaged vs Disengaged Employees

Regarding employee engagement, there are two main camps: those who are highly engaged and those who are disengaged.

Highly engaged employees are passionate about their work and feel strongly connected to their company. They’re the ones who go above and beyond, day in and day out.

Disengaged employees, on the other hand, may be put in the bare minimum or even less. They might be unhappy with their job or have little loyalty to their employer.

So what’s the difference between these two groups? And more importantly, what can you do to foster a more engaged workforce?

Here are some critical differences between highly engaged and disengaged employees:

1. Engagement is driven by passion, not just pay.

Sure, money is a critical factor in motivation for most of us. But it’s not the whole story. Highly engaged employees are passionate about their work and feel strongly connected to their company. They don’t just show up for a paycheck – they’re committed to making a difference.

2. Engaged employees take the initiative.

Disengaged employees often wait to be told what to do or how to do it. They’re not proactive and may even resist change. On the other hand, highly engaged employees are always looking for ways to improve and add value. They’re self-starters who are always thinking ahead.

3. Engagement is about more than just job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction is essential, but it’s not the same as engagement. Engaged employees are satisfied with their job and passionate. They believe in what they’re doing and feel strongly connected to their work.

4. Engaged employees are team players.

Disengaged employees often view themselves as separate from their team members or company. They’re more likely to compete with others rather than cooperate. On the other hand, highly engaged employees are team players who are always looking for ways to help their team or company succeed.

5. Engagement leads to better performance.

It’s no surprise that engaged employees tend to be high performers. They’re passionate about their work and take the initiative to improve. On the other hand, disengaged employees often coast by with the bare minimum – or less.

So what can you do to foster a more engaged workforce?

Here are some ideas:

1. Create a culture of engagement.

Engagement starts at the top. As a leader, it’s essential to model the behaviour you want to see in your team. Show your employees you’re passionate about your work and committed to making a difference. Encourage them to do the same.

2. Communicate openly and frequently.

Keep your employees in the loop on what’s happening in the company. Share your vision for the future and solicit feedback from your team. The more engaged employees feel, the more likely they will be engaged in their work.

3. Provide development opportunities.

Engaged employees are always looking for ways to improve and add value. So give them opportunities to grow. Offer training and development programs that allow them to build new skills and advance in their careers.

4. Recognize and reward good behaviour.

Make sure you’re recognizing and rewarding the behaviours you want to see from your team. A little recognition can go a long way in motivating employees to be more engaged in their work.

5. Encourage employee input.

Give your employees a voice in decisions that affect them. Ask for their feedback on company policies or procedures. The more you involve them, the more engaged they’ll be.

6. Be flexible.

Engaged employees often have a strong sense of ownership in their work. So give them some flexibility to do things their way. Allow them to create their schedules or work from home when it makes sense. The more autonomy they have, the more engaged they’ll be.

7. Make it fun!

Engaged employees are passionate about their work and believe in what they’re doing. So make sure your workplace is somewhere they enjoy being. Create an environment that’s fun, supportive, and challenging. The more you can make work feel like play; the more engaged your employees will be.

The bottom line is that engagement matters. Highly engaged employees are more productive, innovative, and likely to stick around. So if you want to create a thriving business, start by creating a culture of engagement.

7 Habits of Highly Disengaged Employees

We all know that feeling when we’re stuck at work. Our motivation starts to dip, and we start going through the motions, just putting in time until the day is done.

If you find yourself in this position more often than not, it might be time to look at your habits. Highly disengaged employees tend to have certain habits contributing to their lack of motivation and unhappiness at work.

If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to make some changes:

1. You’re always checking your phone.

If you can’t go five minutes without checking your phone, you miss out on valuable face-to-face interactions with your co-workers. Not to mention, it’s just plain rude.

Put your phone away and stay present at the moment. You’ll be surprised at how much more engaged you become.

2. You’re always on social media.

We get it; social media is addicting. But it’s a problem if you spend more time scrolling through your feed than you are working.

Again, put your phone away and focus on the task at hand. Your boss will thank you.

3. You’re constantly complaining.

Nobody likes a complainer. If you’re always griping about your job, chances are good that nobody wants to hear it.

Try to find the positive in every situation and focus on that instead. It’ll make your workday a lot more pleasant.

4. You’re always late.

If you can’t seem to show up on time, it’s a sign that you don’t respect your co-workers’ time. Not to mention, it makes you look unprofessional.

Set your alarm a little earlier and give yourself some extra time to get to work. It’ll make a world of difference.

5. You’re always taking sick days.

We all get sick sometimes, but it’s a red flag if you’re constantly calling in sick. Either you’re not taking care of yourself, or you just don’t want to be at work.

Either way, it’s not a good look. If you’re sick, stay home and rest. But if you’re just looking for an excuse to skip out on work, find something else to do with your time.

6. You’re always surfing the internet.

We all know that one person who’s always on their phone or laptop, surfing the internet instead of working. If that’s you, it’s time to cut it out.

Not only is it a waste of time, but it’s also a major distraction to those around you. If you need a break, step away from your screen and take a walk or grab a coffee.

7. You’re always gossiping.

Gossiping is a huge no-no in the workplace. Not only is it unprofessional, but it can also make you look bad.

If you have something to say, say it to the person’s face. Chances are good they’ll appreciate your honesty more than your gossiping.

Making even one of these changes can significantly impact your overall happiness and engagement at work. So if you’re disengaged, look at your habits and see if any of these sound familiar. You can turn things around with a little effort and start enjoying your job again.

How to Deal With Employee Disengagement

So how can you deal with employee disengagement? Here are some tips:

1. Talk to your employees and find out why they’re disengaged.

There could be any number of reasons why your employees are disengaged. Maybe they’re not challenged enough in their roles. Or maybe they don’t feel like their work is making a difference. Whatever the reason, it’s important to talk to your employees and find out what’s happening.

2. Ensure your employees have the necessary resources to do their jobs.

If your employees feel like they don’t have the resources they need to do their jobs, it can lead to disengagement. Ensure your employees have everything they need to succeed in their roles.

3. Encourage employee input and feedback.

Your employees are more likely to be engaged if they feel like their voices are being heard. Encourage employee input and feedback, and make sure you act on it.

4. Communicate openly and frequently with your employees.

Open communication is key in any organization, but it’s crucial when it comes to engagement. Make sure you’re communicating frequently and openly with your employees.

5. Show your employees that you care about them.

Your employees are more likely to be engaged if they feel you care about them as people, not just as workers. Show your employees that you care about them, and ensure they know their well-being is important to you.

Employee disengagement is a serious problem, but it doesn’t have to be insurmountable. By following these tips, you can start to turn things around and get your employees back on track.

What to Do When You Are Disengaged at Work?

So, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? Here are a few ideas:

1. Talk to your boss.

If you’re feeling disengaged at work, you should talk to your boss first. They may be able to help you find more interesting or challenging work that will keep you engaged.

2. Find a mentor.

Another option is to find a mentor within your company who can help guide and motivate you. This can be someone who’s been with the company for a while and knows its inner workings or someone in a similar position to you and can relate to your experiences.

3. Get involved in extracurricular activities.

There may also be extracurricular activities at your company that you can get involved in, such as employee resource groups or social committees. These can help you feel more connected to your work and give you a sense of purpose beyond your day-to-day tasks.

4. Seek out learning opportunities.

If you’re looking for ways to grow and develop professionally, seek learning opportunities within your company. This could be anything from taking on new projects to attending training courses or webinars.

5. Talk to HR.

If you’ve tried all of the above and still feel disengaged at work, it may be time to talk to HR. They can help you explore other options, such as transferring to a different department or company.

Discontentment and unhappiness at work are normal from time to time. But if you regularly feel this way, taking action is important. Taking some of the steps above makes you feel more engaged and motivated in your job.

What is the Cost of Disengaged Workers?

Disengaged workers from their jobs cost American businesses an estimated $450 to $550 billion yearly in lost productivity. That’s according to a new study by the Gallup organization, which surveyed more than 1 million workers across 192 countries.

The study found that workers who are “not engaged” – meaning they’re not interested in their work and don’t feel a connection to their company – account for more than 20% of the workforce in the United States. And those who are “actively disengaged” – meaning they’re unhappy at work and are looking for ways to sabotage their employer – make up another 5%.

The economic impact of all this is huge: The study estimates that actively disengaged workers cost the U.S. economy $450 to $550 billion yearly in lost productivity. That’s because they’re less likely to show up to work, more likely to make mistakes, and less likely to be productive when they are there.

So what can businesses do to combat this problem? Gallup says the key is to focus on creating an “engagement-friendly environment” that gives employees a sense of purpose and belonging and allows them to use their strengths daily.

It’s not an easy task, but it could pay off significantly – for both businesses and the economy.

The Benefits Of High Employee Engagement

Engaged employees are more productive, more satisfied with their jobs, and more likely to stay with their employer.

A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that organizations with high levels of employee engagement outperformed those with lower levels of engagement by nearly 2-to-1.

The same study found that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their job than those who are not engaged.

Engaged employees are also more productive. A study by Gallup found that companies with highly engaged employees had 21% higher profitability than those with low levels of engagement.

Final Words

The takeaway? Employers need to focus on creating a workplace culture that engages employees. Gallup research has shown that companies with engaged workforces outperform those without by 202%. So what are you going to do to create an engaging workplace for your team?

If you’d like to know more about how you can get your people to become more actively engaged, contact me.


What are the signs of a disengaged employee?

There are a few key signs that an employee is disengaged from their work. They may lack motivation, appear uninterested or apathetic, and may be resistant to change. They may also withdraw from social interactions, and their work performance may suffer. If you notice any of these signs in an employee, it’s important to address the issue so that they can get back on track.

If you’re noticing a lack of motivation or interest in an employee, it’s important to have a conversation with them to see what’s going on. Sometimes, an employee may just need some encouragement and reassurance to get back on track. Other times, there may be more serious issues at play that need to be addressed. Either way, it’s important to stay tuned in to your employees’ engagement levels so that you can address any issues that come up.

What causes an employee to be disengaged?

There are many reasons why an employee may become disengaged. Some common causes include feeling undervalued or unappreciated, having a poor relationship with their direct supervisor, or feeling that their job is not fulfilling. Additionally, employees may become disengaged if they feel that their skills are not being utilized effectively or are not given opportunities to grow and develop within their role.

If you’re concerned that an employee may be disengaged, there are a few key signs to look for. Disengaged employees may have a negative attitude towards their work, regularly arrive late or leave early, take more sick days than usual, or produce lower-quality work. They may also be less likely to interact with colleagues or participate in company events.

If you think an employee may be disengaged, it’s important to take action quickly. Schedule a meeting with the employee to discuss your concerns and see if any underlying issues can be addressed. If the problem persists, consider whether a change in role or department may be necessary. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that disengagement is often a symptom of a larger problem. By addressing the root cause, you can help prevent disengagement from becoming a chronic issue in your organization.

What does it mean to be actively disengaged at work?

According to a recent study, employees actively disengaged at work cost U.S. businesses an estimated $450 to $550 billion per year in lost productivity.

So what does it mean to be actively disengaged at work? Employees who are actively disengaged are not just unhappy with their job but also working against their company in some way. They may be spreading negativity to other employees, or they may be sabotaging company property or resources. In short, actively disengaged employees are bad news for any business.

What’s another word for disengagement?

There are a lot of words for disengagement. Apathy, ennui, listlessness, malaise… the list goes on. But whatever you call it, disengagement is a problem. It’s a problem in our work lives, in our personal lives, and in our society as a whole.

Disengagement is characterized by a lack of interest, motivation, or concern. It’s often accompanied by feelings of restlessness, boredom, or dissatisfaction. And it can have a negative impact on our relationships, our health, and our overall well-being.

What is the difference between not engaged and disengaged?

There’s a big difference between not being engaged and being disengaged.

You’re not involved or interested in what’s happening when you’re not engaged. You’re just kind of along for the ride.

On the other hand, when you’re disengaged, you’re actively tuned out and disconnected from what’s happening around you. You’re not just passively uninterested – you’re actively opposed to paying attention.

So why does this matter?

Well, disengagement is a big problem because it leads to all sorts of negative consequences. For one, it undermines your performance. If you’re not paying attention, you will not be able to do your best work.

But disengagement also takes a toll on your well-being. When you’re constantly tuned out and disconnected, it’s hard to feel good about yourself or your life. You might feel anxious or depressed and even withdraw from social activities and relationships.

In short, disengagement is something you should strive to avoid. If you find yourself tuning out at work or in your personal life, make an effort to re-engage. It’ll make a world of difference.


“Remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.”

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