Building and Retaining Your Workforce- Employee Disengagement

Employee disengagement

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Within organizations there are superstars, the steady-as-you-go folks, and employees who have quit, but have not yet resigned. This article demonstrates the steps to disengagement and typical turning points that lead to employees either quitting, getting fired, or practicing the Quiet Quit. When identifying the Quiet Quitter, it includes someone who has become disenfranchised, but lacks the motivation, desire, or fear of income/benefit loss to actually quit. Quiet Quitters* as identified in Gartner’s “HR Toolkit: Tackling 2023 Future of Work Article”, differs from voluntary and involuntary resignations. It refers to employees who quit mentally without resigning from their position. Behaviors include someone who doesn’t leave the company but does only the bare minimum to keep their job. They refuse to go the extra mile, they often grumble and complain to co-workers and customers about their job, their supervisor and/or the company at large. This has a detrimental impact on the morale of the organization and impacts quality, service, and the bottom line.

 It’s important to understand what is happening to create poor morale in the department. A large part of our job is to not just evaluate performance, but to help clear the brush out of the way so that people can engage in productive work.

steps to diengage

 As you can tell from the above graphic, there are predictable downward steps to what and how employees disengage. If you can identify what step the employee has reached, a decision can be made whether this person’s issues can be discussed and assisted toward becoming a productive member of the team. Remember, if you notice a pattern in certain areas of the organization, it’s important to understand what is happening to create poor morale in the department. A large part of our job is to not just evaluate performance, but to help clear the brush out of the way so that people can engage in productive work. The fundamental answer will lie somewhere between if it is possible to re-engage the person and ensuring the work environment allows people to feel included, recognized, challenged, and rewarded.

About the Author

Toni fordAntoinette (Toni) Ford has both national and international experience as an organization development professional and has served for over 15 years in the capacity of vice president of human resources.  Experienced as a facilitator of knowledge, she taught for 10 years as an adjunct professor at both the University of Detroit Mercy and Central Michigan University.  During the course of her career, she studied abroad and holds certifications in numerous disciplines.  
Toni holds a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and a bachelor of arts degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  She has been published and has sat on several advisory boards throughout her career.  

She is the Human Resource Business Partner for the Institute of Organization Development.

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