15 Ways to Jump-Start a Disengaged Employee

Posted by Cathy Reilly


04.17.18 15 Ways to Jump-Start a Disengaged Employee iStock-695614764

On the one hand, we want employees to stay in their jobs, but on the other hand, it means facing the challenge of keeping tenured employees connected, productive, and passionate about their work. It’s engagement. Otherwise, boredom or just getting by through minimal efforts results. This is not what creates winning work environments or profitable companies.

Disengagement becomes a disease of indifference among employees, and it costs plenty. Gallup reports in their latest State of the Global Workforce Report that such disengagement comes with a $7 trillion price tag globally in lost productivity.

Best practiced with a coaching management style, try any of these to get the conversation going with a disengaged employee, remove them from the sidelines and make them part of things again:

  1. Have the employee update their job description. Give them a copy of the most recent job description and have them edit it to reflect all they are doing. Meet to review any changes and make them part of the process in bringing it current. It also serves as a good reminder of their responsibilities.

  2. Take the employee on a tour of another department. Let them see how other areas within the company operate and make a connection to the bigger picture.

  3. Invite the employee to a company event and help them network. Give them the opportunity to do something special and meet others inside the company they normally might not have a chance to meet. Making connections is  powerful.

  4. Make them a mentor. With their experience, they have knowledge that can be shared with others. Give them a chance to help within the company community. 

  5. Have them recommend a mentor. Look to the employee for recommendations on who else in the company would be a suitable mentor. There never seems to be too many mentors on hand and it shows you value their opinion.

  6. Have the employee lead a meeting (or take minutes in a meeting and summarize for everyone). Give them a stake and a say where they might not have ever had one with regard to internal meetings.

  7. Put the employee in charge of a project or have them manage part of a larger project. Provide the opportunity for them to own an initiative, contribute in a bigger way and shine.

  8. Have the employee submit three new ideas that would improve the way they do their work. Give them a voice and tap into their experience. No idea is too crazy.

  9. Have them suggest a step to eliminate and simplify a work process. Quite often, they know best how things can be streamlined. Let them tell you about their ideas.

  10. Ask their opinion (on anything!). Everyone likes to be asked what they think. Be sure to let the employee talk and you do the listening. You may be surprised what you hear.

  11. Ask the employee what excites them about their job. Find out what the employee is passionate about and find ways to incorporate that back into their work.

  12. Make them a trainer. Give the employee the chance to make a difference by training others at what they know best. Help this employee stretch outside their comfort zone and grow from where they are.

  13. Ask the employee about the areas where they need more training. Assist in building the employee’s knowledge so they can be the most effective in their work. Help them become an expert inside the company.

  14. Let them give new hires their first tour. Allow the employee to lead new employees in learning the lay of the land and become a memorable part of their first day on the job.

  15. Express appreciation. Seize the opportunity to thank the employee for their efforts. Too often, tenured employees fall into the mundane habits of their work and management falls into the routine of not noticing. Don’t be shy to express appreciation – even if it’s just because.
    It’s an immediate boost to an employee.

Any of the above can serve as a first step in re-engaging an employee. These ideas are not meant to be quick and complete fixes to the disengagement problem. That takes follow up conversations, measuring and managing the people-side of the business. It also takes recognition and systems built to treat each employee as an individual. If you compare the value engaged employees bring to a company through their ideas and passion, against the losses in productivity and excellence, the effort seems well worth it.

Need help getting employees re-engaged? We have lots of ideas. Explore the possibilities of Onboardia and talk with our HR Consulting Team. Call us at 800-771-8610, visit us at http://www.onboardia.com or Schedule a Demo today.

Cathy A. Reilly is the CEO & Founder of Onboardia, Inc., HR software, HR Consultant and the author of “The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Temporary Employment”.










Topics: Employee Engagement, Management, Human Resources, Corporate Culture, Employee Experience

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