7 Signs Your Employee Is Disengaged

Search with Ctrl + F Last updated: 2022-07-28

Unfortunately, the majority of the workforce are unengaged. Rather than work, disengaged employees are usually spending their days socializing, surfing the internet, shopping online, and possibly even job hunting. Many of the reasons for this include a lack of challenging work, too many work hours, and feelings of dissatisfaction. It really is unfortunate because employees simply want a positive environment where they can do their best work. Not only that but low engagement costs United States companies over $350 billion in revenue every year. The amount is staggering but there are several signs that you may want to look out for when it comes to employee engagement.  

1. Quiet 

The first sign is if the employee suddenly withdraws. Some employees have a quiet and shy nature, so be aware of that before you jump to conclusions. However, it is important to keep an eye on disengaged employees over time. If you notice an employee suddenly get quiet and withdraw for a few days, you may have a problem.  

2. Decrease in Quality 

Next is a drop in the quality of work that the employee was producing. Many times, you can notice employees taking longer to complete assignments or simply producing less. If the lack of quality is consistent, you most likely have a disengaged employee. Sometimes though, a brief period of underperformance is possible due to work and life stress. However, if it’s continual it means your employee is starting to care less.  

3. Behavior 

Another more obvious way of seeing that your employees are disengaged is if you see an attitude or anger. If an employee is visibly upset or even lashing out on managers or co-workers, it is not a good sign. This could be because the employee is having issues within the workplace that need to be addressed. Or simply they are unhappy with their current job.  

4. Over Socializing 

Too much socializing could also be a sign of disengagement. If your employees are constantly wandering around the office or gossiping at the water cooler, that is a sign that they are bored and they are trying to get away from their desks. By doing this they are avoiding their responsibilities and contributing to a lack of productivity.  

5. Avoidance  

When an employee avoids coworkers or work-related events its yet another sign of disengagement. Sometimes, people don’t enjoy the social aspects of work life and that’s okay. But if an employee took part in these things before and is recently showing avoidance, it most likely points to disengagement.  

6. Tardiness 

Tardiness and leaving work early are more signs that an employee is lacking at their job. Sometimes it is necessary to come late or leave early, life does throw curveballs every once in a while. But if it is occurring often and/or affecting work, it is yet another sign. You will want to communicate with your employees to ensure there aren’t any outside forces affecting their tardiness.    

7. Sick Often 

Finally, overusing sick days is a sign of disengaged employees. People do get sick or have doctor appointments, so there should be some kind of leeway. But you know when the use of sick leave becomes excessive, or employees begin to abuse it. Long weekends are usually a sign of this. 

Once you’ve discovered one or more of these things happening it suggested you communicate with your employee and try to understand if there is an underlying reason to be disengaged. However, you do have to ask yourself if that team member is worth saving in the first place. Will their attitude drag down other employees? Will work continue to lack quality? Does the employee even know if something is abnormal? Once you make your decision, work on keeping the rest of your workforce engaged. Recognizing them for their work is always a welcomed idea. If you find out how to motivate them, it will help boost morale and in turn re-engage complacent employees.