Recruiting & Staffing

Why Your Employees are Disengaged

By: Kaylyn McKenna
Dec 15, 2020 • 6 min read

If Your Employees Are Disengaged in The Workplace – This Blog is For You.

If your employees are disengaged, you’re not alone. Employee engagement is a huge problem for many businesses. Low employee engagement leads to high turnover, which can be costly! Many resources are invested in recruiting, onboarding, and training a new hire. So, you want your employees to stick around rather than have constant turnover. Engaged and happy employees are also more productive. Oxford found that happy employees are actually 13% more productive, which adds up significantly if you focus on increasing employee satisfaction among your entire team. It generally has a direct correlation to profits, as businesses with high levels of employee engagement are 22% more profitable than businesses with low levels of employee engagement.

To achieve the benefits of higher productivity and lower turnover, be sure to address these reasons why your employees are disengaged in the workplace. 

employees are disengaged

You’re Not Communicating

Employees that are being actively communicated with and that feel involved in the business will be more engaged. This is particularly important during periods of change within the business. Due to COVID-19, 2020 has been a turbulent time for most businesses and employees, so now is a great time to step up your communication efforts. Keep employees updated on changes that will impact them, such as operational changes related to a local shelter in place orders and industry or office reopenings. Try to involve your employees in decision-making processes by soliciting their input, listening actively, and addressing their concerns.

Also, ensure that expectations are communicated clearly. Employees often get frustrated if feedback and instructions are inconsistent or unclear.


Avoid micromanaging employees. This can result in employees feeling as though you do not trust them or believe in their ability to succeed. Allow them to make some decisions on their own and work independently. Micromanaging how your employees do their work also stifles their creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and ability to learn and grow. They may find a different approach that works best for them, or they may even find a way to save time and complete a task more efficiently. Trust your employees and give them room to grow as professionals.

employees are disengaged

No Opportunity For Growth

Employees are more engaged when there are opportunities for career growth, learning new skills, and personal growth. If employees feel as though they cannot grow in the job or that they’ve hit a dead end, they may become disengaged. To avoid this, make sure that you are having discussions with your employees about their goals. Work with them to identify new skills that they could build, what the next step for them would be within the company, and what they need to do to reach their next promotion.

Compensation Complications

Employees that feel undervalued or overworked often become disengaged. Of course, we’d all love to earn more, but sometimes employees have specific and valid reasons for feeling underpaid. A prevalent cause of this is that an employee may gradually take on more responsibility without additional compensation. Ideally, all employees will grow in their roles and be able to take on more. However, if an employee’s job duties and level of responsibility have increased significantly since they signed on at their initial rate, it may be time to reevaluate whether their pay rate is fair. One way to prevent this is to perform annual compensation benchmarking to ensure that the company pays employees competitively in line with regional and industry standards.

It’s also important to conduct annual performance reviews. These are important for a variety of reasons, including performance management and training and development purposes. Still, it also allows your employees to discuss the possibility of a raise and justify why they may deserve additional compensation. Some employers try to avoid these conversations, but it is important to be aware of any employee dissatisfaction with compensation and any employee responsibilities that may warrant additional pay.

employees are disengaged

Lack of Recognition

Employees may become unhappy or disengaged if they feel undervalued. It can be difficult for busy people managers to keep up with their team’s activities and successes. Still, it is essential to make time to check in with your team, acknowledge their efforts, and celebrate their wins. Don’t wait for huge wins to recognize an employees’ efforts and acknowledge smaller wins and improvement shown. Try to make a point to congratulate employees on their successes, both directly and publicly.

Lack of Work-Life Balance

Putting in extra hours does not necessarily lead to an increase in overall productivity, leading to burnout and disengagement. Allow your employees to recharge so that they can come to work refreshed. Try to avoid contacting employees outside of business hours and be accommodating to time-off requests. Check-in with employees and make sure that they know they can come to you if they have too much on their plate or feel overworked.

employees are disengaged

Their Work Doesn’t Feel Meaningful.

People want to feel that what they do has a purpose or contributes in a meaningful way. Ensure that all employees understand how their own contributions serve the organization, clients, customers, and society. When assigning projects, employees understand why they are important and how their work helps their colleagues and managers. Often things like data entry, but the data they put together may help others make important decisions.

Organizational Culture 

An organization’s culture is like it’s personality. It encompasses how people in the organization work and communicate with each other. Many organizations are in “survival mode” and don’t take time to think about or develop a culture. It is important to cultivate a consistent, collaborative, and open organizational culture to feel like they are part of a team and can be engaged in the organization. Establishing a company mission that everyone can agree on and take pride in is also a great way to get employees engaged. This will also help you to cultivate a stronger organizational culture!

More to Explore:

Things To Avoid When Writing Your Cover Letter 

LinkedIn Engagement 

Employee Compensation and Benefits 

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