HomeSpecial ReportHow to Broach a Lack of Engagement

How to Broach a Lack of Engagement

Telling a supervisor that you are not engaged with your work is a risky proposition. Employers need to make it less so by making it clear from the start that they want every worker to derive as much meaning and satisfaction from their job as possible. 

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Lewis Garrad offer these steps to making a conversation about workplace disengagement more comfortable and productive: 

Address a worker’s full potential. Disengagement drags on performance. Employees want to reach their full potential. Addressing what’s possible when a worker is fully engaged reinforces the fact there is a clear ROI on engagement. 

Address new challenges. Workers of all generations, but particularly those in their 20s and 30s, want to continually attain new skills to advance their careers. A job that can be completed on autopilot usually quickly leads to dissatisfaction. Challenges are what lead to motivation. 

Discuss proper fit. Workers need to come to the conversation with specific examples of what they like and don’t like about their current job. Employers should be open to the possibility that job responsibilities could be adjusted to retain a talented worker and improve performance. It won’t work all the time, but it’s worth assessing. 

Talk about burnout. Feeling overwhelmed is a common cause of disengagement and frustration. It is a manager’s job to help employees avoid draining and demotivating work situations in which exhausting barriers outweigh exciting challenges.


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Paul Nolan
Paul Nolan
Paul Nolan is the editor of Sales & Marketing Management magazine.

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