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Learn how to spot the signs of an employee engagement problem, before it’s too late. Left unattended, your company can suffer.

man tired from work with a potential employee engagement problem

Ah. That moment when you first walk into the office. The smell of fresh coffee fills the air. The symphony of phones ringing and keyboards tapping floats in the background. You see most of your staff plugging away, but notice a couple huddled over the water cooler.

As they notice your approach, their hushed tones sharply change gears. They greet you with an overly enthusiastic, “Good morning!” and then scatter.
Well, that can’t be good.

Avoidance and suspicious kindness are prime examples of warning signs. Warning signs that indicate you have an employee engagement issue on your hands.
An employee’s engagement can ebb and flow through the course of their time with your company. It’s important to notice the signs of disengagement to address them before it’s too late.

Notice an employee showing signs of disengagement? You can still salvage the situation.

There could be a multitude of reasons why this person isn’t “showing up” in their job. It’s worth finding out why so you can do something about it before your company suffers.

Bad morale is a toxin that can affect the rest of your dedicated staff.  It’s best to find a way to turn the tables around as soon as possible.

Addressing your employee’s engagement problems can turn them around. It can even inspire them to stick around. The shift could result in a star player for your company. Retaining experienced employees is more crucial than ever during this volatile job market.

The hiring and training process is an investment. The time and money that goes into hiring new employees adds up. According to Glassdoor, it costs an average of $4,000 and 24 days to hire a new team member.

If you notice signs that one of your staff may be losing their footing, it’s crucial to address the problem early on.

Here are 3 major signs to watch out for that signify an employee engagement issue. When you notice them, take action as soon as possible. Waiting too long to act will only agitate the problem.

1. White rabbits and rushed exits

When Alice first started, she was the first in, and the last to leave. She used to take her time on the way out. Chatting here, helping there. Not even noticing the extra effort that she was pouring out.

After some time, you start to notice that she no longer arrives early and is often the first out the door when it’s time to go.

Her actions begin to reflect a pattern. While someone leaving right when the bell rings may point to a busy personal life, you know better.

  • The office banter has dried up.
  • There’s an attitude shift.
  • There’s a sudden sense of urgency to escape at the end of the day.

Shutting out management or coworkers and no longer participating in small talk can be a sign.

When an employee no longer lingers to offer help to a struggling teammate like they used to, that’s a red flag.

employee happy to leave the office - possible employee engagement problem

A healthy office culture operates as a unified team rather than lone wolves.

Building a positive culture involves getting employees and management on the same page. When staff and management are in alignment with the company’s goals and values, you’re on the path to success.

When someone loses interest in maintaining these values, the balance is thrown off. To keep the ship on course, it’s imperative to nip the problem in the bud before it escalates.

2. Complaints on are the rise

The first step to creating a training program for your company is to evaluate your company’s current talent and the goals you want to work toward, then make an organization plan.

When you embrace transparency, you foster an environment that promotes problem-solving. This builds trust amongst your staff and the public. Some companies have an open-door policy in place for this reason.

It’s common for an open-door policy to elicit concerns from your workforce. But when those concerns morph into unwieldy complaints – here’s your sign.

If you see an uptick in petty complaints from an employee, this is a tell-tale sign of an engagement issue at play. Complaining is often used as a mechanism to shift blame or to shed responsibility. But when you see complaints #trending in your office, it’s time to get to the root of the problem.

Ask your employee more probing questions.

To get to the root of a problem, you have to dig. Say an employee approaches you about one of their coworkers always taking breaks. There is more to the story than the perceived jealousy.

It’s an opportunity to realize a flaw in policy to tackle. It’s also an opportunity to reveal you’re the underlying cause for disengagement.
A rise in employee complaints is a clear sign of an employee engagement problem. They’re trying to find something to place their frustrations on.

Listen and lean in to their concerns – but remember that there is something more beneath the surface. If you don’t unearth the underlying issue, resentment will grow and you risk losing a hard-worker.

3. Apathy rears its ugly head

The first step to creating a training program for your company is to evaluate your company’s current talent and the goals you want to work toward, then make an organization plan.

Happy employees thrive in a healthy office culture. They jump into action without hesitation. They answer the phones with gusto.

It’s easy to spot an employee suffering from weak engagement when their fire starts to dim. They are smiling less. Their patience thins. They’re less enthusiastic about hitting goals or hitting high customer service marks.
Going the extra mile is a cornerstone in any customer service role. If one of your employees has shifted from, “I’ll figure that out for you!” to “Sorry, that’s not a part of our policy,” on a more consistent basis, it may be time for a talk.

Customer service is a critical component of any organization. One bad review can tarnish your reputation and can be tough to recover from. Providing great service comes from every angle of your company. It’s up to every member of your team to do their part to ensure a smooth customer experience.

Dedicated employees tend to care about the impact they make. They care about contributing to the overall success of the team and company. They look for ways to improve things. It’s imperative to notice when employee satisfaction is waning.

Here are some clear signs that you have an apathetic and disengaged employee in your midst:

  • They’re showing up late
  • They’re leaving early
  • They’re online shopping while under the clock
  • They take long breaks
  • They take frequent breaks
  • They are often irritable
  • They’re jumpy
  • They’re gossiping more
  • Their performance is suffering.

Anticipate the needs of your employees before these symptoms show up. If you expect they’re experiencing burnout, offer them your support. Step in to delegate some of their tasks and ask if they need any other tools to help them execute their duties.

If you’re able to provide your employees with tools or enrichment opportunities, do it! When your staff sees your dedication to their career development, they’ll notice. If an employee feels you don’t care about their progress, they’ll also notice.

Keep an eye out for these signs of weak employee engagement. When you address issues head-on, you avoid unnecessary pitfalls. You help someone reach their full potential within your company.

Employ Employee Engagement Strategies

Fostering a healthy office culture will serve your best interests, as well as your staff. A little effort can go a long way. Try some of these strategies out to see if you notice a (positive) change in your staff’s demeanor:

  • Be flexible. Work with your staff and find out what environments they are the most productive. If someone works better from home a few days a week, be open to it.
  • Be transparent. Be open with your staff about expectations. When you’re all on the same page, there is less room for error and frustration.
  • Say, “Thank you.” This works wonders on employee morale. A simple thank you speaks volumes.
  • Offer incentives. Motivation comes in many forms. Find out what motivates your team to incentivize accordingly.

Awareness is key when it comes to spotting an engagement issue.

Retaining staff and creating a positive work culture has never been so imperative. If any of your employees show any of these signs, take action before it’s too late. Address issues as they arise and explore engagement strategies to keep up morale.

If you need help aligning your people with your brand, check out Alloy. We help companies develop plans that create a culture of togetherness, recruit and retain top talent, and so much more.