According to the Gallop poll's state of the American Workforce report, nearly 70% of workers are not actively engaged in their work. Considering the research, job dissatisfaction or a disengaged workforce can have a real business cost associated with lost time, training budgets, turnover and recruiting. Not to mention how a bad fit can be toxic to everyone around them and be a real drain employee morale. All a hit to your bottom line.
4 Critical Signs of Employee Disengagement
1. Unplanned Absenteeism
Tracking rates of unplanned absences can provide insights into worker engagement. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimated that around 3 percent of an employer's workforce was absent on any given day. But absences or tardiness to work do have real costs because all lost time by any employee is connected. Whether that is a manager scrambling to find a replacement worker, a team having to shift priorities or an individual having to juggle double duties to cover for the missing person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "productivity losses from missed work cost employers $225.8 billion, or $1,685 per employee, each year.1" Compelling evidence supports tracking unplanned absence rates as a way to spot disengaged workers.
2. Constant Complaining
Workforce complaints are valid, and your employees should have a public and private process to bring up concerns in the workplace. But this is different from a disengaged worker that constantly interjecting frustrations or dissatisfied about the current work situation, without brining any idea to resolve issues. Company culture and team morale can suffer as a result of this type of attitude. In our white paper “What is the cost of a bad Hire?” a bad hire is someone who negatively impacts organizational productivity, performance, retention, and culture2. As an employer or manager, complaining can be a sign of a disengaged employee. could be an opportunity for some coaching or other support. Create a more supportive working environment where they feel that contributions are rewarded and individual achievements recognized.
3. Making Excuses
An employee who makes excuses is poison to your entire team. They could be avoiding responsibilities or late to completing tasks. Not every excuse is unwarranted. but without the right systems in place it can be difficult for managers to track performance and understand who is not carrying their weight on the team. Remember though, that even if a Manager doesn’t fully see the issue the employees know. And having a coworker that consistently under performs but isn’t held accountable the morale of team, a department, or the entire company can suffer.
4. Stuck in the “Status-Quo”
Industries are always evolving which means your employees must be willing and able to keep up. More than just ensuring their skillsets are relevant through active training and education, it’s also reflective in their attitude. Treading the status-quo, or lack of motivation in their position shows little desire to grow within the organization, or professionally. individuals are unengaged are ultimately reluctant to help forward your mission. Something to think about when implementing strategic employee engagement initiatives and the people that will execute on future tactics.
Your end-goal should be an engaged workforce, one that will be enthusiastic, and drive business initiatives and company growth. Because employee disengagement has a negative impact on your business - costing you time, money and potentially damaging your reputation as a company – you need to be aware of situations that can cause disengagement and reverse this mindset before it’s too late.
Harnessing HCM technology like OnePoint unifies all your employee data providing the tools reporting and people analytics to monitor and quantify metrics indicative of employee engagement. Using these systems to reduce administration tasks, communicate company culture can unite a workforce, especially ones with dispersed employees, can turn unengaged employees into a productive and cohesive team.
1 Centers for Disease Control, Using the Workplace to Improve the Nation’s Health At A Glance 2016, https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/workplace-health.htm
2 Brandon Hall Group, The True Cost of a Bad Hire (August 2015), 5.