5 Warning Signs That an Employee is Disengaged

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Employee engagement inside the workplace is one of the hottest topics in HR and learning and development (L&D) these days because engaged employees save their organizations money, as well as earn them more money. Yet according to one poll, only 34% of employees in the United States are engaged at work.

As you’re trying to improve your organization’s employee engagement rates, pay attention to the warning signs that an employee may be actively disengaged at work. Here are five of them.

  1. He or She Is the First Person to Leave and the Last to Arrive

    If an employee is always the first person to leave at the end of his or her shift or at the end of the workday and the last person to arrive every morning or shift, this person’s engagement levels could be waning. Sure, some employees have home-related responsibilities outside of work, but if all of a sudden, they don’t stay at work longer than they absolutely must, they are probably starting to become more disengaged.

  2. They Start to Call Out More

    When employees start to take multiple days off in a row for no apparent reason or stay home sick more often, they are probably disengaged, especially if they start using all their paid time off in a short burst of time. Absenteeism rates are the highest for employees who are disengaged because they don’t want to be at work.

  3. They Stop Participating in Meetings and Become Silent

    If an employee who was once talkative during meetings or, at the very least, chimed in every so often suddenly never has anything to say, he or she may be disengaged.

    Disengaged employees will not want to participate in meetings or talk about the work they’re doing because they’re beginning to care less; some might even become more cynical and lash out at others.

  4. They Begin to Avoid Others at Work

    Disengaged employees may also start to avoid others at work. They don’t want to socialize with others as much, and they probably stay at their desks most of the time. On the other hand, they might start to hang out in the break room more often to socialize and avoid doing the work that isn’t engaging to them.

  5. Their Work Quality Begins to Change for the Worse

    Employees who are disengaged will also cease to care about the work they are producing and whether it’s high quality. So, expect to see work quality and performance decline rapidly and suddenly among those employees who are actively disengaged.

Be sure to watch out for the warning signs detailed above if you want to manage or improve your organization’s employee engagement rates.