9 Signs Of Engaged Vs. Disengaged Employees

Company Culture
Employee Relations
Employee Engagement
21 Oct 2022

According to the State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup, only 13% of employees in India were engaged as of 2017. The report also stated that the hierarchical structure in most companies in India limits employee engagement and productivity. 

Predicting 64% of all Indian workers to be millennials by 2021, the report alarms us of the need for change in work culture and employee conduct at the workplace. 

Employee engagement has become one of the major challenges for executives in large as well as small companies. Millennials today are more concerned than ever about how they feel at work and how it benefits them.  

Various startups, some of which are now huge corporations, have come up with varied ideas about how the work culture should be over the years. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, have persistently set examples for the same. And newer companies are adapting to the need by enhancing their work environment to be better suited for millennials. 

Although, Employee engagement is an agile process. Your strategies evolve with the responses you get from your employees. And thus, it is important that you know how to determine whether an employee is engaged or disengaged. Following is a list of the traits that can help you identify disengaged employees from engaged ones:

Sign #1: Initiative

Just because he/she is completing the target of the day, doesn’t mean that the employee is engaged. An engaged employee will always be up for initiatives. He/she will want to take responsibilities and see learning opportunities. Although, a disengaged employee would take a step back in most situations. Maybe the employee doesn’t see the challenge in work anymore, or he/she feels underappreciated. Whatever be the reason, this is a very obvious trait for a disengaged employee.

Sign #2: Silence

You will find an engaged employee open to all kinds of communication. Whereas, a disengaged employee will try to escape as much as possible. You may say that the employee could be an introvert. That may be true, but talking and interacting first is not the only way of communicating with the company members. When an employee doesn’t show up at company celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, and doesn’t even smile at the “hurray” scream when you finally got 1 million+ followers on your page, he/she is disengaged.

Sign #3: Learning

Engagement means that the employee is motivated to learn and work hard. If it has been very long since a colleague who used to talk about new technologies and ideas has shared something innovative with you, chances are, he/she has stopped learning. You will find an engaged employee always talking about new things, at least in his/her field.

Sign #4: Irrelevant work

An engaged employee is focussed and sincere with his/her work. Although, when an employee is disengaged, you might often catch him/her doing things irrelevant to the assigned work. You may capture them scrolling through memes on social media for very long, leaving work early too often, talking over the call while at work as a habit, and even searching for new jobs!

Sign #5: Empathy

Participation in healthy debates, constructive criticism, volunteering to help, and a will to fulfil commitments are all signs of healthy engagement. Although, when you are least interested, you grow apathetic. Your participation grows nil and you tend to become rude.

Sign #6: Complacency

This annoying habit at the workplace is a very popular trait among disengaged employees. Because of the lack of willingness for communication, the employees might have a wrong idea about the expectations of their managers and colleagues. This further leads to complaints and irritability, which distances them from their team. On the other hand, engaged employees will have a positive outlook on everything. They would rather choose to understand what’s going on over complaining.

Sign #7: Absenteeism

Be it team meetings, brainstorming sessions, or even their own birthday, disengaged employees are not to be found. Even if they are present, their participation shall be next to negligible. Engaged employees will always be there, and their excitement will only bring more insight, energy and thought in the discussions.

Sign #8: Confronting Managers

Some employees escape managers very often. They will not miss any chance of not facing their managers. Although, if the employee is engaged with the company, he/she won’t miss a chance of interaction with the manager.

Sign #9: Quality of Work

Some employees at work will repeatedly try to improve the quality of work. They try hard not to miss deadlines, and deliver their products in the best ways possible. Although, if such an employee begins to deliver a downgraded quality of work over time, there might be something wrong. This is a critical case of disengagement.

Employee engagement is one of the most critical elements of company operations today. If you see disengagement in your company, it is recommended to take immediate actions for the same.

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