Lighting a lasting-fire that keeps an engaged team going for the long haul won’t happen by accident. Here are the conversations you need to have as a hiring manager to re-light your dis-engaged employee’s spark.
The importance of keeping an engaged team.
So you hired an employee six months ago and they have historically been one of your all-star team members. Lately you’ve noticed some out of character traits. Your employee frequently runs late to meetings, makes excuses to leave early and seems to be zoned out on the job, and your fear is that they’ll become one of the statistics – one of the 70 percent of employees Gallup polls reveal as disengaged year after year. What can you do to fix this?
Learn about their aspirations.
As a hiring manager, the number one key in keeping an engaged team is creating individualized plans for each employee. But, before you can create the plan, you need to have a heart-to heart-discussion with your employee about what they want to accomplish in the job they’re in, and in the future. These three questions will allow the employee to self-discover what they want to pursue:
- What led your decision to join the company? This question is a great lead in because it gives the employee a chance to talk about what key factor planted the seed of the company as a good fit for them, as well as their thoughts on the company.
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? This is a good segue into if the employee sees your company as a short term position or a career.
- What do you need from me to help you reach your goals? A lot of times employees don’t know what they need from their hiring manager. So it is your duty to visualize their goal with them, see the potential road blocks that may hold them back, and provide them with resources.
Once you have this conversation with the dis-engaged employee, it will become apparent what the employee feels they are lacking in the current work environment. This conversation provides a safe space for the employee to understand what they need to become re-engaged.
Provide resources for employees.
As discussed in question three above, providing resources to your employees will not only re-engage them but will show you are making a large effort to listen and help. Offering mentors, setting up job shadows, and assigning them projects that align with their goals are great ways of mixing the daily routine.
- Offering mentors – Mentors are great in that they provide your employee with an outside perspective, advice giver, as well as a personal cheer leader. Mentors also have their own network of connections that they introduce to your employee.
- Setting up job shadows – If a dis-engaged employee mentioned that he is very interested in the finance department of your company, reach out to your connections and set up a job shadow. It’s always beneficial to expand someone’s knowledge of how a company works, plus your employee will be engaged as they mentioned this is what interests them.
- Assigning projects that align with their goals – If a dis-engaged employee is very artsy and has expressed they would like to work on side projects as well as their current job, let them control the office potlucks and parties. This will give them the outlet they need and will likely spike their performance in their current job.
- Enriching work with education and professional development opportunities – If a disengaged employee sees that they aren’t going to be stuck in a rut, it can help them get through any short-term discouragement as they see a path to a bigger future.
Providing these resources are great tools to shake up their daily routine. You will be surprised how fast an employee’s attitude will change once they find something that really appeals to them.
Cheer them on.
Aside from raises and bonuses, studies show that appreciation in a job is a large part of job satisfaction. 69 percent of employees mention that they would work harder if they were being appreciated in their place of work. Consistently cheering on a dis-engaged employee will often result in a change of spirit, which in turn can keep an engaged team going strong. Office potlucks, company apparel, hand written notes, cards are fun ways to recognize your employees.
- Office potlucks – Set a team goal and if it’s reached then reward your team with an office potluck. People like to cook and love to eat so they will enjoy a team lunch like this.
- Company apparel – This is a great way to encourage team spirit. Especially if you are competing with another team. Have someone on your team create a design and you’ll have your whole team wanting to be a part of this movement. Encourage your team to wear these shirts to sport team pride.
- Hand written notes – These notes go a long way. Showing your appreciation toward an employee can spark a positive spirit instantly. They will feel special because you took time out of your day to think of them.
You play a big part in re-engaging an employee.
Understanding why an employee is disengaged, creating a plan to help them achieve their goals, and cheering them on will boost the morale of the whole team, which in turn can perpetuate the work of an engaged team over the long term. When your team feels the negativity come from your dis-engaged employee the whole team will suffer. Show your dis-engaged employee the purpose in their position and how it plays a role on the road to achieving their goals, and you will see a big difference.
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