Warning signs of disengagement

How do I engage my employees? For many businesses, that's the million-dollar question to which they are still trying to find the answer. While there may be no clear cut ways of truly engaging and empowering workers, employers should always be on the lookout for signs that their workforce is unengaged – this is much easier to spot.

Disengagement is a common event in workplaces, with as many as 65 percent of the global workforce reporting that they aren't emotionally involved at their jobs, according to research conducted by Towers Watson. 

1. Constantly being sick or missing work for other reasons

Employee attendance has always been a critical issue for employers. It goes without saying that when employees aren't in the office or factory working, they are not contributing to company goals and are dragging down efficiency. As the Star Online notes, absenteeism is a leading sign of a lack of engagement.

Absenteeism frequently happens when employees don't feel a connection with their job and managers. They believe what they do on a day-to-day basis has no meaningful impact on the company as a whole, and as such, they don't care. Businesses need to empower workers and give them a sense of pride in their work. Once employees care about what they do, there will be fewer absenteeism issues.

2. Working the 9 to 5

Another signal that employees may be disengaged is when they do the minimal amount of work that has to be done any given day or sticks rigidly to the 9 to 5 work schedule. Some employees are perfectly content going to work, putting in eight hours and then going home.

This attitude can potentially be troublesome for employers. Obviously if the worker is doing a stellar job, it may not be a big issue. But if companies want to maximize productivity, they need to ensure that employees have the drive to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Taking it one step further, if employees are doing the minimal work possible during a shift, this clearly needs to be addresses. This suggests extreme disengagement, and is only one step away from constant absenteeism.

Establishing a Kaizen work culture is one such solution that many businesses use to improve engagement throughout the company.