For managers and business leaders, having an engaged workforce is one of the top priorities. But aside from the many benefits of employee engagement, there’s a very real reason why you should strive for a team who’s invested in what they do. That’s because the cost of employee disengagement has the potential to be detrimental to your business.

In this blog post, StaffConnect, a mobile employee app designed to give employees a voice and boost engagement, explains why it’s important that business leaders and managers notice of the signs of employee disengagement and how they can take actions to reduce the risk of their workforce falling into a rut of disengagement.

What is employee disengagement

We’re all familiar with what employee engagement is. But what about disengagement? A disengaged employee can be defined as one who feels in a state of indifference, or even hostility, towards your workplace, their role within it and the overall goals and culture your business strives for.

The damage of disengagement

As the definition suggests, disengagement is the exact opposite of what companies aim for, and it’s not something which is good for workplace morale, productivity or business either.

Employee disengagement is damaging for business, with the potential to cause:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Low quality work
  • High staff turnover
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Unhappy staff

But just because your current employees seem like they could be disengaged doesn’t mean you need to completely replace your workforce. In fact, often all that’s needed is a new approach that allows them to change their perspective and outlook while at work.

Getting your team re-engaged

But how can you, as the head of your team, encourage the change in perspective which leads to lower levels of disengagement? The answer to this, unfortunately, isn’t clear-cut. Every team is dynamic and different, and a bespoke approach will be required for each individual case.

However, there are some quick-win improvements which can be applied to any and every workforce, including:

1. Clearing up your communication

It’s a fact that, no matter how great your communication is, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re facing the issue of a disengaged team, the first thing you should turn your attention to is your communication.

Engaged workers are those who can freely and comfortably communicate with their colleagues and managers—on both a professional and social level. You might think your comms systems are up to scratch, but more often than not, disengagement stems from an undetected communication barrier.

So, to combat disengagement and reduce the risk of it recurring down the line, you need to give your communication methods some TLC. Whether you promote the use of a new chat platform or send your team a gentle reminder to air their views in the latest employee survey, ensuring they feel like their voice can be heard is key.

2. Recognising the good, not just the bad

As a manager, it’s easy to become complacent when your team are performing well. However, when the figures aren’t matching up and you’re under pressure to reach targets, the first thing you do is communicate this to employees.

This might not seem like a problem, but for your team, it can lead to a dip in morale and even regress into disengagement. After all, you have access to the performance figures and can see when you’re doing well and when you’re not. But if you only let your team know when they’re underperforming, you risk them thinking they’re never doing well.

Recognising when your team has fallen short and where there is room for improvement here isn’t the issue here. You have to communicate underperformances in order to improve and grow. But, with that said, remember to shout about the good stuff too. Whether you reach your monthly targets or receive feedback on an employee’s customer service, simply letting your team know all the small wins can make a huge difference to their workplace morale and engagement.

3. Sharing the vision

Business leaders are kept in the loop with business goals and visions, so you’re always aware of the targets that need to be met. But can you say the same for your employees?

All too often, employees are left in the dark about their workplace’s aims for the short, mid and long term. This isn’t just a case of a fundamental communication issue, this is also something which can lead to a very demoralised workforce.

Think about it, if you were asked to dig a hole every day, without being given a reason for doing it or a target to reach, you wouldn’t be very motivated to do it, would you? And the same can be said for your employees. Whether they’re working in a retail outlet selling to customers or in an office filing reports, simply communicating the aims, purposes and vision for your company (which will all become possible as a result of their efforts) is a simple way to reduce cases of disengagement.

Whether you send a daily or weekly email which outlines goals for the week or offer rewards for employees who achieve a certain number of sales, for example, finding a way to simply and quickly communicate your vision with your team will not just reduce the risk of disengagement, but encourage a rise in engagement.
BIO: This blog post was contributed by StaffConnect, a mobile employee app designed to give employees a voice and bridge the gap between deskless and office-based workers.