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on March 7, 2018 Internal Communications Human Resources Employee Engagement Company Culture

Six Ways to Motivate Detached Employees

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So, you think your employees might be disengaged?

Now what? Is there a possibility that things could turn around for your company?

Disengaged employees can be defined as an employee that is checked out and disinterested in company success. Instead of pouring energy and passion into the company, they give nothing other than their time.

If you’ve noticed a drop in employee morale lately, there are some things you can do to better engage your employees — before the disengagement becomes a company-wide culture issue.

Also, check out: Warning Signs That Your Company Culture is out of Shape

Here are six ways to engage and motivate even your most detached employees:

Schedule company-wide events

Frequent events, happy hours and get-togethers can be a great way to boost employee morale. It is often these informal discussions that occur amongst team members that establish trust and rapport.

When bonds between employees are strong, teams are more collaborative and cohesive. And when colleagues trust one another, they are more motivated to solve problems together.

Besides, life is more enjoyable when you’re working alongside people you enjoy being around.

Set clear expectations

To engage employees, managers must set clear, collaborative, and aligned expectations.  It’s possible that your organization’s detached workers are receiving mixed messages from the leadership team.

According to Gallup’s 2018 State of the Workplace report, employees who strongly agree that their job description aligns well with the work they are asked to do are 2.5 times more likely than other employees to be engaged.

To motivate detached employees, let them know what success looks like and ensure that their tasks fit their job description.

Improve internal communication

One way to make sure that your expectations are clear is to improve your internal communication strategy across the board. If you’re not sure whether or not your strategy needs a facelift, check out this article: Five Symptoms of Poor Internal Communications.

There are many things that you can do to improve your internal communications. For example, you can send email newsletters that share organizational successes, goals, and upcoming events. You can send push notifications, use mobile and web applications, communicate with videos, and more.

Whichever strategy you choose, it is important that your strategy is dynamic, engaging, and built with your specific employee audience in mind. As different organizations are made up of different employee populations, there is no “right answer” across the board.

Optimize your strategy by using multiple communication channels and personalizing your messaging. When all team members are on the same page, it’s hard for an employee to feel detached.

The backstitch platform includes dozens of features that your organization can use to craft internal messages that fit with your strategy. Click here to learn more about our offerings.

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Ask for and give feedback

Ineffective and infrequent feedback is the main factor that leads employees to feel detached from an organization. It is likely that your detached employees could benefit from some direction or recognition.

In addition to giving better and more frequent feedback, it is important to ask for it as well. When a leader asks their employees for feedback, it shows humility. Perhaps, some workers feel detached from the organization because they haven’t had the opportunity to air their grievances.

Let your employees know that they don’t need to bite their tongue and that constructive feedback is welcome.

Build mutual trust in the workplace

Unfair evaluation practices and misplaced accountability are common behaviors that lead to disengagement in the workforce. What do both of these things have in common? They lead to a lack of trust in the workplace.

It’s important for an organization to establish trust — from team member to team member, from department to department, and from manager to employee. When an environment of mutual trust is embedded in a company’s culture, a workforce is more productive.

It’s hard for an employee to stay detached on the job when they are respected for the effort they put into the organization. Also, they are likely to be more productive when they are given the trust to move forward independently on projects.

Offer flexibility

The modern-day employee is asking organizations to offer more flexibility than they’ve given previously — especially millennial workers. According to a study by Bentley University, 77 percent of millennials say that flexible work hours would make the workplace more productive for people their age

This increased flexibility can be offered in many ways — more paid time off, flexible work schedules, and remote work options. Take a look at your organization’s benefits packages and ask yourself if there’s any way you can loosen the reins on your employees a bit. This tactic can make even the most detached employees feel more energized at work.

When employees are offered more flexibility by their employer, this demonstrates mutual trust. Flexibility, such as remote work, has also been proven to increase worker productivity, engagement, and lower stress.

Meghan LeVota

Content Strategist at backstitch