Per a global survey by ADP Research Institute, engagement at work ranks highest among employees in India than in other countries. The survey additionally revealed that between 2015 and 2018, India had shown a five per cent increase in the number of employees who were fully engaged. For the record, that’s the highest shown in the world!
Yet despite this, most Indian workers actually remain far from fully engaged. In fact, only 22 per cent of the workers surveyed seemed to be fully engaged!
But then, why is engagement so important?
The top issues of today’s management teams are to attract and retain a workforce. Low employee engagement can put all of this at risk. Disengagement can swallow up a manager’s time, creating a multitude of distractions for the rest of the team.
Consequently it will be progressively difficult to tend to customer needs, innovate on existing products and practices, or even standard problem-solving! Coach disengaged teams is key to augmenting the wellbeing and performance of the employees in a company. And knowing what to do, comes down to asking the right questions.
What causes a disengaged employee?
As the old phrase goes: “When in doubt, go to the source.” The first step to recognizing that there’s a problem would not to look at what can cause it.
The lack of engagement at work can be caused usually by 3 major parts:
Relationships with managers and leaders can make or mar employee engagement. Employee engagement is directly proportional to their trust in their leaders. Distrust is corrosive, and often the major cause towards disengagement.
- Lack of Feedback/Recognition:
Performance updates are critical in allowing everyone to understand whether or not you are on track to hit the goals you have outlined. Providing feedback and recognizing employees for their hard work is one way to keep them engaged
Positive feedback and recognizing good work boosts confidence, and shows people you value them. It helps people to understand and develop their skills. Conversely, not providing the same can do quite the opposite, disengaging them in the process.
Transparent, honest and continuous communication in the workplace can significantly boost employee engagement. It’s often forgotten though, that communication is a two-way street. Without recognizing potential barriers and using the right collaborative tools, employees are effectively set adrift, disengaging in the process.
What happens when employees are disengaged?
You recognize the common cold as a problem when you see the symptoms such as a fever or runny nose perhaps. Likewise, recognizing that employees are disengaged is also dependent on looking at the symptoms displayed. This comes down to 3 parts:
- No Initiative
One can argue that poor work performance and output is a reliable metric towards employee disengagement, but good work is not unreliable for this context either. An employee still can perform well even as they feel disconnected from your organization due to their personal or professional work ethics.
A lack of challenge may also be contributory too. Meeting work-related goals isn’t the only confirmation sign that employees are engaged. In fact, the lack of challenge showing as quality work can very well be a source of disengagement. Evaluating performance in this sense, comes down to sometimes checking how motivated an individual may be under other contexts too.
Stage events or challenges for the company, complete with fun activities and prizes. Does your team still not participate? In the event of no other commitments taking up time, it’s quite possible that you’re having disengaged employees.
What’s the frequency with which employees go on different kinds of breaks? A coffee, a smoke, whatever. It’s quite possible they just need a refresher.
But from a behavioural standpoint, people can indulge in excess towards unhealthy behaviours to fill voids present in personal or professional lives. After all, this is the origin of phrases such as ‘Eat one’s feelings!
A greater level of work diligence and regularity would be seen for people who are motivated. A lack thereof could raise cause for alarm regarding employee disengagement.
Sorry to disappoint, but silence, especially in a professional context, isn’t golden!
Sometimes people may choose not to open up by personality type, or for want of their own space. For example a company or specific teams experience a win but only a few show excitement or celebration, you have an employee engagement issue at hand.
How do you coach a disengaged employee?
It’s rather easy for an employee to be disengaged. That said, it’s just as easy to make sure they stay engaged. In fact, it’s just 5 steps!
Set clear and achievable goals
Having no goals or expectations, in effect no aim, can easily destroy a team’s motivation and their engagement to a company. It’d in effect show no accountability not just as an effective manager, but also in the team’s talent as well. The shift to remote work means that you have the leeway to reset your team’s expectations.
It’s important to be available and flexible for an effective relationship with your team, so this crisis is also a good time to sit down with your team to assess and improve goals and expectation. With virtually all our work online, the margin of error in coordination and leadership failures is far less, and yet we’re more susceptible to it.
This is why it’d be a great opportunity for having a MultiCall with others to discuss and execute any necessary corrections in courses of action. You can do this by communicating what you know, and being transparent by acknowledging the fact that much is still unknown about aspects lying ahead. You can invite teammates to share their knowledge, initiative concerns and queries as well.
Make goals meaningful
It’s one thing to create goals. It’s completely another to be connecting them along with the involved day to day tasks to a meaningful purpose. Companies have their purpose in a mission and vision; something that is larger than themselves. What’s your purpose? Do you work for the money, the experience or the passion? Maybe all three?
Making the goals meaningful means allowing people to connect their work to something larger than themselves. It doesn’t matter exactly what kind of underlying motivation, whether intrinsic or extrinsic. All that matters is that it matters to your team. Giving a purpose incentivizes engagement in the process.
Being able to embrace technology would in the process mean being able to embrace the right tools in order to communicate. One such tool is MultiCall. Not only does it let you call your entire team in one go, there is no hassle typical of conferencing either.
Free of PINs and moderators, it is an instant solution for calling many. In addition, the participants of the call do not need to relate to data or even have the app installed. MultiCall requires data only to initiate the call.
MultiCall helps towards maintaining employee engagement with its Call Monitoring system, which provides an assortment of features to minimize distractions:
Ensuring everyone is involved is critical to knowing whether they’re engaged. When your MultiCall has begun, your screen would appear with the list of all your participants. You can also add participants while in call, by either selecting from the list of contacts on your phone, or by dialling in the number as and when you need the individual to join the call.
Keeping track of extensive calls are important, and MultiCall lets you do just that with its recording feature. It would also help you monitor signs of employee engagement that were discussed earlier when listening in later.
No one’s a stranger by now to WFH and its associated opportunities and challenges. Employee recruitment and retention can be a challenge, but ensuring their engagement in the company is the quintessence. By noticing the signs of the same, and acting based on the above tips, companies can succeed at coaching disengaged employees and achieve greater results.