8 Signs Your Team is Disengaged

Last time we talked about WHY your team might be disengaged (click here to read). There are some legitimate reasons for a disengaged team. If we’re the type of leader that cares though about team engagement, then we have to be hyper aware of the signs our team might not be fully engaged.

So what are some signs that your team is disengaged?

  1. Enthusiasm when starting a job, now waning
    We’ve all had staff that were super excited when they started; volunteering for extra duties, our “best and brightest.” If you’ve been wondering lately what happened to them, you may need to look in the mirror; especially if that happens a lot. Most likely, they didn’t change or suddenly become a “bad” employee. Generally it is that the environment didn’t keep them engaged.
  2. Staff that do just the minimum (or less)
    Similar to the last point. If you hire well (i.e. you’re getting the right people on board in the first place) then those great staff don’t suddenly become mediocre. They either aren’t engaged, are not given clear expectations or are not on-boarded well.
    And if it is your hiring process, stay tuned for a blog coming soon about hiring the right people! 
  3. Silence at staff meetings
    This might seem great, but really, not so much. If your team is excited about a project, plan, etc. then they will offer positive feedback and enthusiasm. If they do not like a plan or idea, then a team that is engaged (feels valued and shares a high level of trust) will offer suggestions or pushback about what they don’t think will work. Most of us try to hire intelligent, highly skilled staff. So why would we want them to keep quiet?
  4. No new ideas
    Excited and engaged staff feed off of each other and have engaging interactions where great ideas surface. A great team will use their collective knowledge, personalities and skill sets to think of ideas way beyond what any single person could accomplish on their own.
  5. Lots of HR issues
    If your HR director has a line of people at their door waiting to complain, ask advice, etc. then you may have a disengaged team. Teams that are highly engaged are able to work through issues together, have a high level of trust (which allows for hard, honest conversations) and generally are too busy working on something they’re excited about to get down in the weeds of every day “drama.”
  6. High customer complaints
    If you receive lots of customer complaints it could mean poor processes, poor training, or (you guessed it) low staff engagement. Staff members that are engaged and excited about their work are bought in to what you do. They are going to go above and beyond to get the customer on board and excited too.
  7. High turnover
    It is surprising how many organizations do not realize how alarming this is. Sure, some people will leave because it is just not the right fit (win-win for everyone), some leave to take a promotion, but many leave because they are just miserable. If you are not tracking your staff retention rate, I recommend you start there.
  8.  And when they do leave… are unwilling to give honest feedback in an exit interview
    I’ve spoken with many staff who upon leaving have a laundry list of frustrations but are not willing to share them. Their response is “why bother, no one really cares what I think.” As hard as the info is to get (and it can be even harder to hear) that is the feedback we as leaders need to hear.

An engaged staff team is more effective, provides better quality service, and is more innovative than a disengaged team.

Please share and if you have other signs of a disengaged team feel free to leave a comment!


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