5 Simple Ways to Engage the Dis-Engaged!

Regular readers will know I write a lot about Human Resources strategies and development (some of the best examples are here). Today I thought of leaving behind our conventional topics of discussion to talk about Performance Management.

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.”

– Charles Schwab

He’s often late…

Takes a back seat…

Slouch at dressing up well to the workplace…

Heard criticizing the management…

Always on breather or seen scrolling Facebook feeds…


But, have you ever given a thought about this person’s mundane behavior and reasons that led to bringing him into this comfort zone? Perhaps, not.

So, your employee’s behavior is setting you off. But what about the skills and attitude that at one point this individual was hired based on?

It’s time that business leaders should re-consider their approach to people management and unearth means to help floundering employees become re-engaged at work.

Here are some stunts worth trying to wake up a deadwood employee:

1.   Employee Engagement Programme – It’s often difficult to direct someone without knowing the reason behind an air of lethargy about him. Sometimes employee disengagement roots down to feeling undervalued and dead. Having one on one, candid sessions is the only way to overcome this phenomenon where the leader takes out time to venture into the employee’s personal space. Learn about their long-term goals and aspirations and where they would like to see their career headed in next two years.

2.   Sit together for goals setting – the employee knows his potential and can come to the consensus with his mentor on numbers. It’s critical to engage them in creating their quarterly/annual expected performance road map – how they would like to improve, what they what to achieve along with upgrading their level of knowledge and skills.

Spending on employee training time and again should be seen as a potential investment rather than risk. Enrolling them into skill based certificate courses not only refines their skillset, but it also gives your organization an edge over your rivals. People today thrive for self-development.

3.   Are they recognized for their accomplishments – constant urge for improvement without rewarding progress demotivates the person and pulls him back from working towards his targets. Even simple gestures like calling out their names aloud, congratulate the team on achievements, or even simple mention of “well done” and “Keep it up” pushes them to run an extra mile.

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen R. Covey

4.   Unleash your employee – Is he still calling it merely a desk job? The modern human management and retainment policies are laid down to ensure that your employee is content and doesn’t seek a change. Companies provide facilities such as sports complexes and library to help people detox themselves from monotony. Constant check on employee actions and daily status reports often steal the verve. Eventually, it’s the work that speaks and not employees’ presence. Hence, permitting remote operations and ‘work while travelling’ gives enough flexibility to an employee while dismissing stringent HR lines of control.

5.   Break the ice, if need be – But, it’s not always you who’s at fault! If despite all considerable attempts, the employee continues to be intractable, insubordinate or hopelessly inept, apprise him of company’s expectations. When lethargy hits the workforce, it’s imperative to communicate with them about its repercussions. This notification would not just help in making them diligent but also hopefully light in them the zeal of being competent and performance oriented.

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