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The "Hidden Thief" Within—Disengaged Employees

While the image of the disengaged employee was captured by the actor Ron Livingston in his portrayal of “Peter Gibbons” in the movie Office Space, spotting this hidden thief within your organization may not be quite that easy. Gallup recently found that almost 70% of all workers are not actively engaged at work. These workers are costing their respective companies millions. However, they are not always to blame. I believe a large number of organizations may prevent this from happening by having a strategy that is well defined and helps tackle this costly issue. The down turn in the economy has given rise to the worker that has mentally checked out but is still collecting a paycheck. What can you do? How do you spot a disengaged worker and turn things around before it’s too late?

Here is a little insight, splashed with some humor, into 5 things that indicate your employee might be disengaged. Enjoy!

  1. Lunches get longer: Oh, three trips to the buffet line may sound like a viable excuse but it’s nothing more than putting off getting back to the office—2.5 hours later
  2. Walking around with a cell phone and a legal pad becomes common practice. If the cell phone is to the ear this is even worse. This gives the appearance of being very busy and even more so if the employee is wearing one of those cheesy cell phone holders on their belt.
  3. Reorganizing one’s office space becomes habitual
  4. Sending out emails with tips to odd bits of information that appears to be in the spirit of helping the team, but that no one really cares about, becomes a new pastime.
  5. And the real kicker—Doctors Appointments tend to be scheduled every other Friday afternoon or Monday morning.

On a serious note:  Fighting disengagement is all about hiring correctly and coaching. Learn more about how to do that using The Brooks Group's suite of assessment tools.