Addressing ‘Un-engaged’ Employees

In spite of current economic conditions, there are still employees in the workforce these days that are not “actively engaged” at their company. In other words, they don’t display passion or enthusiasm about their job, and as a result, their production (as well as their overall contribution to the company) suffers. At times like these, the last thing that companies need is lost productivity.

While some companies may have already laid-off many of their under-performing or “un-engaged” employees, some might remain. This could be for a number of different reasons, and perhaps a combination thereof. Some of these reasons are listed below:

  • The employee was highly productive in the past.
  • The employee was responsible for the creation of a product and/or service that brought the company considerable revenue.
  • The employee has been with the company for a long time.
  • The employee is on a team integral to the creation of future revenue.

Regardless of the reason or reasons that the person is still with the company, their engagement (i.e., production) is important.

As a result, the fact that they are un-engaged is a reason for concern and should be addressed as soon as possible. After all, if the company is depending upon this individual for future success, they should be re-engaged in an expedient fashion.

The following are suggestions for doing just that, and they all involve sitting down with the employee and speaking with them on a one-on-one basis:

  1. Inquire – Ask them if there’s something they need in order to do their job better, whether more efficiently or more effectively. Give them the benefit of the doubt; if they do indicate there’s something they need, offer to provide it.
  2. Advise – Suggest additional training to the employee, especially in those areas in which they appear to be lagging or those that would benefit the company the most.
  3. Challenge – Spell out, in no uncertain terms, that the employee is being counted upon, especially in these daunting times, to help the company not only survive, but also thrive.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to help the employee reach their previous high levels of performance and productivity. That’s why communication is so vital to the entire process. Miscommunication is at the heart of many, if not most, problems in the workplace. Ensuring that no miscommunication exists is the first step toward “re- engaging” the employee.

The next step is the setting of clear expectations for the person. They must know what is expected of them, and they must express their understanding of these expectations to you. By taking the steps above, you’re both communicating with the employee and setting clear expectations for their future performance, increasing the chances that you’ll be able to re- engage them and enhance their contributions to the company.

If you have any questions about this article, or about how we can help you with your current performance, leadership, strategic, or hiring needs, send an email to us.

~ Written by  Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC.
Copyright protected worldwide. All rights reserved. Must have written permission to use this content in any form from Gary Sorrell.

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