There is often a stigma associated with the term “disengaged employee.”
Sure, these people aren’t satisfied with their career. But we often project a persona on to them as people who feel put upon, and therefore don’t put out as much work.
But the reality is that sometimes very hard-working, driven, productive professionals fit the “disengaged” label, too.
What most managers don’t realize is that they must look beyond the “disengaged” employee as being someone who fits the bill as visibly frustrated workers who openly complain or do their job duties. As Herring points out:
If you’re like most people, you’re probably somewhere between just doing OK and slogging through. According to annual surveys from Gallup, most employee workdays are anything but energizing. Your 100 percent effort may sometimes feel like it’s not as productive as you would like.
So the truth is that many managers’ best employees aren’t even able to maximize productivity because other factors are keeping them from feeling energized. In other words, their true passions about what they do are not being fed.
Why and how does this happen? Herring suggests the following:
A key reason is likely communication breakdowns between leaders and the workforce. They make work harder than it should be.
I see this all the time as a Career Coach and counselor. Instead of focusing on Career Development for their team, managers get caught up in the minutia of daily work and processes. While those things are necessary, they don’t need to be the primary focus – and that’s where managers are missing out.