It’s not always easy to spot a problem with employee engagement. However, that is the role of a leader, something Bob Bratt knows a lot about. If your brightest and best workers start dropping like flies, you’ve got a problem on your hands. When you lose the commitment, confidence, and engagement of employees, what do you do?
Sign #1: Your employees are blaming each other for problems. They’re not even trying to find solutions.
If you start to hear things like, “I never got that e-mail, even though I was waiting for it,” or, “You never told me about that change in policy,” you’re dealing with employees who are no longer being proactive. Your employees are probably afraid of the consequences of making a mistake. When an employee who’s normally great at their job screws up, don’t make an example out of them. Instead, explain that when they mess up in a brand new way, it helps the company prevent that same mistake from happening in the future.
Sign #2: Nobody seems to be in-the-know.
When information is guarded and treated as something only VIP members have access to, your employees can’t trust you or the system. Information should be available and accessible to everyone. If you’ve hired them, then you feel they’re good enough to work for your company, which means they’re also good enough to know what’s going on. From big changes on the horizon to big problems, clue your employees in to what’s happening.
Sign #3: The only communication taking place is online.
If your employees are still opting for screen communication when a phone call or a face-to-face meeting is possible, there’s a problem. Your employees may feel that their job isn’t worth the extra effort of communicating with someone more directly. While part of this may simply be generational, it’s a good idea to lead by example. Regularly have in-person meetings with your employees to get them in the habit of handling things face-to-face.
Sign #4: Your employees aren’t helping each other.
Employee engagement should be based on how they treat each other, not how they treat a customer. Even the most detached employee may be able to sum up good will when talking to a customer. Look at how your employees are interacting with each other. Are they going out of their way to give each other pointers? If not, they may not be invested in the company or their job. To combat this, it’s a good idea to pair new hires with employees who are happy to act as mentors.
By watching out for the telltale signs of trouble, you can stop a problem in its tracks.