The Signs of Employee Disengagement

The disengaged employee often seems to care little about her job.
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When you run a business, you want everyone that works for you to be happy. Employees who are engaged in their work tend to care about their jobs and will go the extra mile when it is needed. On the other hand, disengaged employees often bring chaos to the workplace. When left unchecked, they may bring the morale of the entire office down with them. Recognizing the signs early allows you to address the problem and fix it.


    Employees often are displaying signs of disengagement when they begin making negative comments about the organization and their jobs. Although it is generally common for employees to complain about some aspects of their jobs every once in a while, disengagement is usually present when the complaining becomes constant and is noticed by the other workers and company clients.

Chronic Disagreement

    A manager who seems to be spending a large amount of time handling the problems of one employee, or settling the conflicts between the employee and other employees, is often dealing with a disengaged employee. As an example of this disengagement, the employee is constantly getting into arguments with his supervisor over minor things or keeps having words with employees in other departments.

Late to Work

    While the disengaged employee may initially state that she overslept, or that traffic was heavy, she often quits making excuses for being tardy and begins ignoring the threat of disciplinary action for her tardiness. An inspection of her time card may show that the employee has gone from occasionally being late to coming in late almost every day.

Calling in Sick

    Calling in sick frequently or suddenly having personal problems that require the employee to leave work early are often signs of disengagement. Unlike the engaged employee who will continue to work when he is not feeling well, the disengaged employee leaves, even if he is aware that there is no one available to work his shift.


    Although the employee may have once gone out of her way to help others, the disengaged employee now only wants to work on her own projects. She may also no longer volunteer to help other employees and may appear to have lost the desire to learn anything new that is not related to her own work.

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