Updated: Dec 10, 2020
In the second part of our discussion, we dissect two more parts of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs and look at Security and Belonging.
Just above the Disengaged team member is an employee who's not engaged and is only after the security his or her job offers. This type of employee will not go above his limits to improve the team but will do just enough to keep his position. Funny enough, although an employee who's not engaged might not be fully engaged, they'll surprise you with moments of magic from time to time. While this can be a positive sign that the situation can indeed be fixed, the fact that they are actively looking for new opportunities on the side is an indication that the situation is irredeemable. That said, I'd like us to discuss the four main character traits of employees who are not engaged and are only working with your team because of the job security.
Looking For Other Positions
An employee who's not engaged already has one foot outside the door and is actively looking for other opportunities. This means that they tend to be less loyal to their employers and use every chance they get to attend interviews, even going as far as using work hours to schedule meetings. The consequences of getting caught job hunting doesn't faze them, and will willingly take a pay cut when the right opportunity presents itself.
The number one sign of an employee who's not engaged is missing deadlines. If an employee continuously misses deadlines and points fingers elsewhere, that should be the warning signs to watch out for. Of course, this is a tricky gauge to maneuver since sometimes there are usually genuine reasons behind missing deadlines. So the thing to look out for is whether the employee accepts the blame and promises to improve or whether the said employee is always blaming others for his actions.
Never Participates In Team Meetings
Team meetings are supposed to be spaces where every team member contributes to the betterment of the team. If you notice that an otherwise social team member is not as bubbly as they used to be, it's likely that they are not engaged anymore. When employees would rather be by themselves than be part of team socials, that's a clear sign that they don't want to be part of the team anymore. This is because employees with withdrawal signs no longer feel connected with the company and tend to distance themselves from the less important team activities.
Hates The Manger or Other Team Members
Everyone has those trying days when everything seems to go wrong. While this is okay, once someone continuously complains, is openly rude, and does not hide their dislike for a particular manager, that employee is totally disengaged. Hate is one of those feelings people struggle to contain, and more often than not, hate reveals itself when trying moments are thrown into the picture.
Before we conclude our second part of the show, let's have a taste of the positive side of things by looking at the almost engaged employee. An almost engaged employee is someone close to being engaged, counts among the high performers in the organization, and is reasonably satisfied with their current position. There is no doubt that the employee is a great team member, but they lack that little something to push them to full engagement and satisfaction. While this group is certainly easier to crack, they also do have some characteristics that define them.
They Always Want To Help
A key trait of an almost engaged employee is that they are always willing to help. Although they won't go above and beyond to find a solution, they'll be there when you need them. They'll attend all the meetings and contribute to the team's betterment, but every time you'll be left feeling like they can do more.
Most companies offer career growth opportunities to their team members as a platform to help boost employee engagement. In the few companies that do not offer growth opportunities, the almost engaged employee will eventually lose ambition since they already understand that they won't be promoted no matter how hard they work. Since they enjoy working in the organization, they keep their emotions in check by lacking ambition.
They are Usually proud of Where They Work
The almost engaged employees are never ashamed of the organization they work for. However, the interesting part is that they won't be vocal about it, nor will they boast about it. They will keep their positions under wraps unless asked about it.
Reasonably Satisfied With Their Jobs
An ambitious employee will do everything within their power to make things happen. While an almost engaged employee will show signs of being ambitious, everything they do shows signs of being comfortable with what they have. For the most part, most leaders will look at the positive side and assume that since everything's good, it wouldn't make sense trying to fix this mentality, so they let it slide. If you feel like an employee is too comfortable with his position, thereby unknowingly sleeps on his potential, it's time to wake him up to the full engagement.
[Radio] Part 1: Staff Engagement - The Disengaged Employee Here
[Radio] Part 3: Staff Engagement - The Engaged and The Highly Engaged Here
Ally Nitschke is a Speaker, Leadership Strategist and Courageous Conversations specialist, She has been working as a leader and with leaders for over 15 years. She is on a mission to change the way we communicate at work, to lean into those uncomfortable conversations and lead with courage. Ally delivers Courageous Leader programs, Courageous Conversations workshops, Coaching and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.