How do you create disengaged employees?
There are oodles and oodles of advice available for getting employees engaged, but how do they become disengaged in the first place? Most employees enter into employment with some sense of hope and excitement, but it is estimated that as much as 70% of the workforce is NOT engaged.
What kills employee engagement?
If you’re looking in the mirror, you are probably looking at the answer. You do.
If you aspire to create disengaged employees, here is a list of a few behaviors you can exhibit that will be sure to make your dreams come true:
- Take credit for everything. Accept blame for nothing.
- Control every move and decision.
- Eat and sleep before they do.
- Do all the talking at team meetings.
- Keep your vision and strategy to yourself.
- Make goals all about the money.
- Make sure employees know you are doing them a favor by paying them.
- Call employees to meetings but frequently put them on hold by taking business and personal calls at will.
- Make it a point at customer meetings to make sure they know you are the top dog.
- Delegate tasks sparingly, but when you do, ensure sure they do it just exactly the way you would do it.
Don’t like these? Take comfort in knowing there are many, many more ways to create disengaged employees. But most of them boil down to a simple question: are you in charge or are you a leader?
Being in charge vs. being a leader
Being in charge as opposed to being a leader is a sure fire way to create disengaged employees.
If your style is to “be in charge” you are probably already exhibiting most of the behaviors listed above and, likely, many more. The word “humility’ may not be in your vocabulary.
A simple test
Here’s a simple test to determine if you are in charge or a leader.
Imagine you are having a potluck lunch at work. The food is set out, ready for everyone to start going through to pile up their plates.
Where are you?
- At the front of the line, leading everyone through it.
- In your office, at your desk, or elsewhere waiting until the line dies down.
- Attending a lunch meeting elsewhere.
- Standing at the beginning of the line, greeting each employee as they pick up a plate, engaging them in conversation.
If you honestly answered “d” you are probably a leader. If you answered a, b, or c, you are probably in charge.
It is your responsibility
If you really do NOT want to create disengaged employees, it really isn’t that difficult or magical. It may only require a few simple behavioral changes on your part. But the bottom line is, engagement or the lack thereof begins with you.
It is not the responsibility of the employee to be engaged in the business. It is your responsibility to give them reasons to be engaged.