I'm sure you've seen it: someone who was once a great employee slowly losing their spark. Over time, their attitude has taken a turn for the worse and now they are coming to work and doing the bare minimum that their role requires. Worse yet, their disengagement seems to be rubbing off on the team members around them.

For employers, it pays to have an engaged workforce. In fact, Gallup found that organizations with engaged employees experience higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability than organizations with disengaged employees. The benefits of employee engagement are clear. So, how do you identify when an employee is becoming disengaged? Here a few signs: 

They become disenchanted with growth. 

An interest in your organization's success, industry trends, and personal improvement are clear signs of an engaged employee. Active, engaged workers tend to be motivated and show a desire to grow in their role. Are they jumping at the chance to work on new projects or offering creative ideas? If not, take a closer look. Be wary of a team member who is not enthusiastic about learning new skills and growing with your company, it could be a clear indication of disengagement. 

They're missing work. 

Frequently missing scheduled work days, showing up late, or skipping out early are signs of low engagement. Engaged employees are excited to be in the workplace, interacting with their team and working on projects. It is important to note that absenteeism isn't always a sign of disengagement. However, frequent occurrences of illness, family emergencies, and personal matters should be cause for concern and an opportunity for a thoughtful conversation.


They aren't communicating with the team.

Silence can speak volumes. If an employee is distant or withdrawn during meetings or team interactions, it could indicate they are becoming disengaged. Taking into consideration that some people are shy and quiet, a lack of communication on email threads, in phone calls, or during team meetings is often an employee engagement issue. Think about it: engaged employees relish explaining their ideas, offering insights on projects, and contributing to meetings. If you have an employee that refuses to communicate in this way, there is a good chance they have low engagement.


They are doing the bare minimum to get by.

Just because a worker is showing up, communicating with the rest of the team, and meeting their deadlines doesn't mean they are engaged. Engaged employees want to be challenged and strive for excellence, not just deliver the same results time and time again--even if those results are acceptable! Sometimes disengaged workers are able to perform on a sort of "cruise control," doing just enough to close out tasks and complete projects. Look closely and you might see that they are carrying out their duties without spark or with the least amount of effort--this is also a clear sign of low engagement. 

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