Posted on: Wednesday May 26, 2021
There are few more worrying signs than noticing when an employee mentally checks out at work. One of the big reasons that employees can become detached from their role is that they've simply lost confidence in the company.
You might recognise the signs but not all might be ones that you'd instantly associate with a loss of belief in the organisation.
The warning signs
- Lack of enthusiasm during long-term projects
- Unwilling to learn new skills
- A high turnover of employees
- Poor quality of work
These are just the most common ones; you might have dealt with this scenario but with different symptoms appearing. It's vital to try and isolate the problem because a drop in morale can be contagious.
Approaches to take
Have transparent company goals
Unfortunately, a big reason why workers lose faith in the company they work for is that they aren't able to connect their day-to-day work with the overall company aims. This can breed a feeling of 'doing work for work's sake' and that means a lowering of productivity and morale.
If your workforce knows what the company aims are over a set period you can then seek to align them to their own goals and aims. You can sit down with them and find harmony between the two sets of values so that they understand what the big picture is and how they contribute, but also take into account what motivates them and their productivity.
Open the lines of communication
Gossip is a powerful weapon in any part of life, this is magnified within the workforce. If people suspect there might be layoffs on the horizon or a company sale it is only human nature to worry about how external factors will impact you.
You can curtail any unwanted news by involving your staff when the time is right. Hold semi-regular meetings where updates on the company are delivered, new initiatives are unveiled, and changes in operations can be announced. Where possible, open the floor at these meetings so that employees feel involved and get the answers they seek directly at the source.
Supplement these changes with regular surveys for your employees to take part in, anonymously. Release the findings of these to the shop floor so that they don't feel like it is just a box-checking exercise or merely window-dressing.
Make sure there’s a clear progression path for them to see
We've all heard the adage 'because we've always done it this way' and realise that just from a process viewpoint it's dangerous to have it become a mantra. When workers feel that they're just punching the clock to do the same thing they did last Tuesday and every Tuesday before then it becomes a slippery slope that will end in the employee feeling undervalued and stuck in a rut.
Sidestep this issue by offering cross-training opportunities that are framed within their own goals and drive to succeed. By getting their feedback regularly you can identify areas in which extra training or progression would be welcomed with open arms.
Don't hold back on praise where it's due
In almost all businesses, the goals of the company would be impossible to meet without the agreement and efforts of workers far removed from strategic decisions. Failure to recognise and reward this work is only asking for trouble.
You may not have the budget or scope for a full programme but simply taking pains to acknowledge your workers' efforts in front of their peers or superiors will give them a great sense of achievement.
So, if you do notice the warning signs it isn't too late to turn around. The key is in establishing protocols and processes that can alleviate the issue the worker might have so that you can minimise your turnover rate, and increase the bottom line for your company.
Personal Group are employee engagement experts. Find out more about how we help our clients here.