Entrepreneurship 5 Signs of A Disengaged Employee Published 7 months ago on May 30, 2017 By The Asian Entrepreneur Authors & Contributors Share Tweet I love the definition of employee engagement that I read in this recent TalentCulture post. It’s succinct and comprehensive: When employees are engaged, they adopt the vision, values, and purpose of the organization they work for. They become passionate contributors, innovating problem solvers, and stunning colleagues. But what does it mean to be a disengaged employee? Well, according to that same post, disengaged employees are “not poised to put in extra effort for success. They don’t like going to work most days. They’re unlikely to recommend the products of, or employment with, their employer.” Laziness, apathy, and dissidence are merely symptoms of bigger problems. And by the time many of those symptoms surface, remediation might be impossible. Update: Check out the infographic below for more insights into the causes of disengagement and how you can motivate your employees to be more engaged. 2 Types of Disengagement According to Gallup, employee engagement isn’t binary. There are actually three classifications; engaged, not engaged, and actively disengaged. Engaged employees are easy to spot as are the miserable, dissident, counter-culture folks who are actively disengaged. The silent majority who are not engagedmake up over 50% of the American workforce, and are adept at blending in with the rest of the herd. Sure some things are obvious – absenteeism, low energy, bad attitude, frequent use of social media, lack of enthusiasm…but few disengaged employees start out by staging a coup from their cubicle. What are the early signs of employee disengagement? 1) No Initiative Poor work product is a reliable barometer for disengagement, but good work might be a red herring. An employee may feel disconnected from your organization but might still perform because of a personal work ethic. Or maybe their job is too easy and they are not being challenged. Don’t be fooled that everything is okay simply because the person is producing. In fact, the lack of challenge that manifests as quality work may be what is behind the disengagement. Instead, look how motivated the person is in a different context. Stage a voluntary hack-day for the company. Make it fun and offer great prizes. Does your top performer choose to not participate? If there are no other matters taking up their time, you may have a disengaged employee. 2) Unhealthy Activities How often does an employee go to the break room for a coffee or snack? How often do they head out for a cigarette? Of course your employee may just be hungry, tired, or addicted to nicotine, but sometimes people over-indulge in unhealthy behaviors to fill a void in their personal or professional lives. People who are truly motivated by purpose often derive fulfillment simply by working diligently at their desks. They may even have to be reminded by a grumbling belly that they haven’t eaten lunch yet. 3) Silence Ok maybe you just have an introvert on your hands. Some people feel their batteries recharge when they have their own space. But when the entire company or specific teams are experiencing a win and a select few show no excitement or celebration, that’s an engagement issue. 4) Lack of Learning When is the last time that quiet employee shared an article of interest about your company, marketplace trends, or interesting research dealing with their role? When is the last time they shared anything at all? Curiosity is a good sign that an employee cares about the bigger picture. They want to learn and grow in their role and share that with others. When you encourage learning and growth as a company value and employees don’t share your enthusiasm, it’s time to take a closer look. 5) Wasted Weekends When we aren’t happy or we’re uninspired at work, those emotions have a way of infiltrating all aspects of our lives. Are people spending their weekends sleeping most of the time, or are they pursuing a personal passion? Winning at Work I like to think of work as a game. As a player, I need to know the rules of how to play and how to win. These are set out via clear goals and objectives from management. I want teammates (employees) and fans (customers) who are loyal and energetic. Lastly I have to love the game and care about the outcome of playing it. Problems begin when people don’t have clear direction from leadership. They are not placed in roles that are aligned with their strengths or where the outcomes of work feeds their souls. According to Forbes, employees like to use their strengths. A strong defensive player shouldn’t be thrown onto the court as a power-forward, and a creative contributor should not be head of sales. Another major deterrent to engagement is when the company either lacks values and purpose, or those phrases have just been written down somewhere and are no longer alive in the organization. Leaders at work are like coaches. Their job is to inspire everyone to win, to achieve the larger purpose. Want to know how to improve employee engagement? See what the 7 most fascinating employee engagement trends for 2016 are. The Missing Piece for Disengaged Employees Google the words “employee engagement” and you will see no shortage of articles explaining why disengagement happens and what you can do about it. Most place the responsibility firmly in the hands of leadership. They suggest defining the company purpose and values, acknowledging employee triumphs, creating clear goals and objectives, and most importantly creating a culture where open communication is valued. Managers must ask questions so that they can find out what employees want – from their jobs or in their personal lives. This can be as simple as a new stapler, or as complex as creating a telework situation so that someone can finish their degree or start a family. Great managers also ask employees to share their ideas. And when those ideas are implemented, they share the employee’s triumphs with the whole team or company. They let everyone see the difference that was made. In workplaces that value open communication, especially between employees and their managers, issues and frustrations quickly surface. Instead of festering and eventually leading to disengagement, managers can offer support. Employees are more likely to trust leadership, building relationships where people are more forthcoming and willing to ask for help. Disengagement may be an epidemic in the American workplace, but communication is the antidote. When it comes down to it, many of us are willing to let down a boss who is a stranger at a company where we are just pawns in their game. But how many of us are willing to let down the people we care about, when we are trusted equals in an enterprise where outcomes truly matter? Want to learn more about why your employees are disengaged & how to motivate them? Check out this infographic from our friends at Company Folders, or read their expanded article here. ______________________________________________________ About the Author This article was written by David Mizne of 15five, an awesome place for people to connect with management. They get to answer questions about their work and communicate if they are meeting their objectives and goals. see more. Related Topics:badcustomersgrowthleadersleadershipspendingsuccessSupportvalue Continue Reading You may like 10 Effective Funding Models for Non-Profit Startups Women on Top in Tech – Pam Weber, Chief Marketing Officer at 99Designs Renata Brkić William Chin, Founder of Mummy’s Market How We Can Innovate the Legal Industry like Elon Musk Norris Krueger Callum Connects Malcolm Tan, Founder of Gravitas Holdings Published 1 day ago on December 15, 2017 By Callum Laing Malcolm Tan is an ICO/ITO and Cryptocurrency advisor. He sees this new era as similar to when the internet launched. What’s your story? I’m a lawyer entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, and who is now stepping into the Initial Coin Offering/Initial Token Offering/Cryptocurrency space to be a thought leader, writer (How to ICO/ITO in Singapore – A Regulatory and Compliance Viewpoint on Initial Coin Offering and Initial Token Offering in Singapore), and advisor through Gravitas Holdings – an ICO Advisory company. We are also running our own ICO campaign called AEXON, and advising 2 other ICO’s on their projects. What excites you most about your industry? It is the start of a whole new paradigm, and it is like being at the start of the internet era all over again. We have a chance to influence and shape the industry over the next decade and beyond and lead the paradigm shift. What’s your connection to Asia? I’m Singaporean and most of my business revolves around the ASEAN region. Our new ICO advisory company specialises in Singaporean ICO’s and we are now building partnerships around the region as well. One of the core business offerings of our AEXON ICO/ITO is to open up co-working spaces around the region, with a target to open 25 outlets, and perhaps more thereafter. Favourite city in Asia for business and why? Singapore, since it is my hometown and most of my business contacts originate from or are located in Singapore. It is also a very open and easy place to do business. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? Be careful of your clients – sometimes they can be your worst enemies. This is very true and you have to always be careful about whom you deal with. The closest people are the ones that you trust and sometimes they have other agendas or simply don’t tell you the truth or whole story and that can easily put one in a very disadvantageous position. Who inspires you? Leonardo Da Vinci as a polymath and genius and leader in many fields, and in today’s world, Elon Musk for being a polymath and risk taker and energetic business leader. What have you just learnt recently that blew you away? Early stage bitcoin investors would have made 1,000,000 times profit if they had held onto their bitcoins from the start to today – in the short space of 7 years. If you had your time again, what would you do differently? Seek out good partnerships and networks from day one, and use the power of the group to grow and do things together, instead of being bogged down by operations and going it alone from start. How do you unwind? I hardly have any time for relaxation right now. I used to have very intense hobbies, chess when I was younger, bridge, bowling, some online real time strategy games and poker. All mentally stimulating games and requiring focus – I did all these at competitive levels and participated in national and international tournaments, winning multiple trophies, medals and awards in most of these fields. Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why? Phuket – nature, resort life, beaches, good food and a vibrant crowd. Everyone in business should read this book: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki Shameless plug for your business: Gravitas Holdings (Pte) Limited is the premier ICO Advisory company and we can do a full service for entrepreneurs, including legal and compliance, smart contracts and token creation, marketing and PR, and business advisory and white paper writing/planning. How can people connect with you? Write emails to [email protected], or [email protected] Twitter handle? @malcolmABM — This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’. Connect with Callum here: twitter.com/laingcallum linkedin.com/in/callumlaing Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com Continue Reading Entrepreneurship Women on Top in Tech – Pam Weber, Chief Marketing Officer at 99Designs Published 2 days ago on December 14, 2017 By Marion Neubronner (Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.) Pam Webber is Chief Marketing Officer at 99designs, where she heads up the global marketing team responsible for acquisition, through growth marketing and traditional marketing levers, and increasing lifetime value of customers. She is passionate about using data to derive customer insights and finding “aha moments” that impact strategic direction. Pam brings a host of first-hand startup marketing experiences as an e-commerce entrepreneur herself and as the first marketing leader for many fast-growing startups. Prior to joining 99designs, she founded weeDECOR, an e-commerce company selling custom wall decals for kids’ rooms. She also worked as an executive marketing consultant at notable startups including True&Co, an e-commerce startup specializing in women’s lingerie. Earlier in her career, Pam served in various business and marketing positions with eBay and its subsidiary, PayPal, Inc. A resident of San Francisco, Pam received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Harvard Business School. Pam is a notable guest speaker for Venture Beat, The Next Web, Lean Startup, and Growth Hacking Forum, as well as an industry expert regularly quoted in Inc., CIO, Business News Daily, CMSwire, Smart Hustle, DIY Marketer, and various podcast and radio shows. You can follow her on Twitter at @pamwebber_sf. What makes you do what you do? My dad always told me make sure you choose a job you like because you’ll be doing it for a long time. I took that advice to heart and as I explored various roles over my career, I always stopped to check whether I was happy going to work every day – or at least most days :). That has guided me to the career I have in marketing today. I’m genuinely excited to go to work every day. I get to create, to analyze, to see the impact of my work. It’s very fulfilling. How did you rise in the industry you are in? I had a penchant for numbers and it helped me stand out in my field. This penchant became even more powerful when the Internet and digital marketing started to explode. There was a great need for marketers whose skills could span both the creative and the analytic aspects of marketing. I capitalized on that growth by bringing unique insight to the companies I worked with, well-supported with thoughtful analysis. Why did you take on this role/start this startup? I’m not sure this is relevant to my situation as I had been a marketing leader in various start-ups and companies. I took on the role at 99designs because I was excited by the global reach of the brand and the opportunity the company had to own the online design space. I especially liked the team as I felt they were good at heart. The challenge I’ve faced in my time at 99designs is how do I evolve the team quickly and nimbly to address new challenges. The work we do now, is very different than the work we did a year ago and even the year before that. There is a fine line between staying focused on the goal ahead and being able to move quickly should that goal shift. Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industry or did you look for one or how did that work? There is no one I’ve sought out or worked with over my entire career as my “mentee” needs have changed so much over the years. There are many people who have helped me along the way. For example, one of my peers at eBay, who was quite experienced and skilled in marketing strategy and creative execution, taught me what was in a marketing plan and how to evaluate marketing assets. As I have risen to leadership positions over the years, I often reach out to similarly experienced colleagues for advice on how they handle situations. How did you make a match if you and how did you end up being mentored by him? I learned early in my career that it rarely hurts to ask for advice. So that is what I have done. Additionally, there are people that are known to be quite helpful and build a reputation for giving back to others in advisory work. Michael Dearing, of Harrison Metal and ex-eBay, is one of those people. I, as well as countless others, have asked him for advice and guidance through the years and he does his best to oblige. Finding mentorship is about intuiting who in your universe might be willing and whether you are up for asking for help. That being said, generally, I have found, if you are eager to learn and be guided, people will respond to the outreach. Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent? I generally look for a good attitude and inherent “smarts”. A good attitude can encompass anything from being willing to take on many different types of challenges to working well amongst differing personalities and perspectives. Smarts can be seen through how well someone’s done in their “passion areas” (i.e. areas where they have a keen interest in pursuing). I try to hire those types of people because in smaller, fast-growing companies like many of the ones I’ve worked in, it’s more often than not about hiring flexible people as things move and change fast. Once those people are on my team, I try to keep them challenged and engaged by making sure they have varying responsibilities. If I can’t give them growth in their current job or in the current company, I encourage them to seek growth opportunities elsewhere. I’d rather have one of my stars leave for a better growth opportunity than keep them in a role where they might grow stale. Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why? I consciously support diversity. When I am hiring, I am constantly thinking about how to balance the team with as broad a range as possible of skill sets, perspectives, etc. to ensure we can take on whatever is thrown at us, or whatever we want to go after. What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb? I’m going to assume a great leader in my industry to mean a marketing leader in a technology company. I think a great leader in this industry is not afraid to learn new tricks no matter their age – it’s the growth mindset you may have heard about. I have a friend who inspires me to do this – she purchased the Apple Watch as soon as it was available, and was one of the first people I knew to use the Nest heating/cooling system. She’s not an early adopter by most definitions, but she adopts the growth mindset. This is the mindset I, too, have sought to adopt. In my field of marketing, it most recently has meant learning about Growth Marketing and how to apply this methodology to enhance growth. Independent of your industry, I think a growth mindset serves you well. Advice for others? I have been at 99designs for 3.5 years. During that time we’ve invested in elevating the skills and quality of our designer community, we’ve rebranded to reflect this higher level of quality, and have improved the satisfaction of our customers. Our next phase of growth will come from better matching clients to the right designer and expanding the ability to work with a designer one-on-one. 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