Do You Recognize the 5 Warning Signs of Low Employee Engagement?

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Employee engagement is vitally important for the success of any organization. Happy, engaged employees lead to improved organizational performance, productivity, and innovation. However, when employees are disengaged, it can be costly for companies. Organizations need to recognize the signs of low employee engagement to combat the negative effects.

Disengaged employees cost businesses an estimated $500 billion to $600 billion per year in the United States alone.

Almost every organization has experienced low employee engagement at one point or another. It can be a serious issue because disengaged employees can hurt an organization in many ways, including reduced productivity, lower quality of work, and even decreased profits.

The problem with low employee engagement

Employee engagement is a huge issue for businesses. Gallup has reported that only about 33% of employees in the United States are engaged in their work. That leaves a whopping 67% who are either not engaged or actively disengaged.

What does that mean for businesses? It means that they’re losing out on a lot of potential. Employees who are disengaged are less productive, miss more days of work, and are more likely to leave their jobs.

There are many reasons why employee engagement may be low. Some common causes include a lack of communication between employees and management, a lack of recognition for good work, and a lack of opportunity for growth and development.

If you find engagement is low at your workplace, not all is lost.

There are several steps that employers can take to improve employee engagement. Some common solutions include regular communication, setting goals and providing feedback, offering training and development opportunities, and providing recognition for good work.

The 5 warning signs of low employee engagement

the 5 common warning signs of low employee engagement
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It can be hard to tell when your employees are disengaged. Many managers don’t realize there’s a problem until it’s too late. By that point, employee engagement has already hit rock bottom and it can be difficult to turn things around.

Employee engagement is key to the success of any company. When employees are engaged, they are more productive and creative. They take fewer sick days and are less likely to leave the company.

However, there are often warning signs of low employee engagement. Ignoring these signs can lead to lower productivity, decreased creativity, and even high employee turnover.

Watch out for these five most common warning signs of low employee engagement:

  1. Employees seem apathetic and don’t care about their work.
  2. They regularly call out sick or come in late.
  3. Have stopped putting in extra effort or taking initiative.
  4. Employees’ work quality has decreased.
  5. They constantly vocalize their dissatisfaction with their job or company.

1) Employees seem apathetic and don’t care about their work.

There could be a few reasons for this. Maybe the employees feel disengaged and unchallenged in their work. Or maybe they don’t feel like their work is important or contributing to the company’s goals.

To get employees more engaged and interested in their work, managers need to find out why they feel this way. Once the root of the problem is identified, managers can begin to address it.

Some things that managers can do to get employees more interested in their work include:

Providing Feedback

Employees need feedback to feel engaged and interested in their work. Without it, they may feel like their efforts are going unnoticed. Managers can provide feedback in several ways, including through formal reviews, informal check-ins, or simply by praising employees for a job well done.

Offering Opportunities for Growth

Employees want to know that they are constantly growing and developing in their roles. Managers can offer opportunities for growth by providing training and development programs, offering stretch assignments, or helping employees set career goals.

Creating a Challenging Work Environment

Employees want to feel challenged in their work. They want to be pushed out of their comfort zones and to do things that they are not used to doing. Managers can create a challenging work environment by setting high standards, expecting innovation, and providing opportunities for employees to take on new tasks.

Fostering a Positive Work Culture

Positive work culture is key to getting employees more interested in their work. In a positive work culture, employees feel appreciated and supported by their managers and co-workers. They feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves and that their work is important.

Managers can foster a positive work culture by being positive themselves, praising employees for their efforts, and creating a team-oriented environment.

2) Employees regularly call out sick or come in late

This is one of the tell-tale signs of low employee engagement – frequent and unexplained absenteeism from work.

What can be done to help this situation?

The first step is to try to understand the root of the problem. There are many reasons why employees might be regularly calling out sick or coming in late, such as:

  • They’re overworked and stressed
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Employees are unhappy with their job
  • Their home life is stressful

Once you’ve identified the root of the problem, you can start to develop solutions. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Review your company policies and see if you can make any changes that will help reduce employee stress levels.
  • Offer employees more flexible work hours or remote working options so they can better manage their work/life balance.
  • Encourage employees to take vacations and sick days when they need them.
  • Provide resources such as counselling or mental health support to employees who are struggling emotionally.
  • Promote healthy work habits and provide wellness programs that can help employees manage stress.
  • Encourage team-building activities and social outings outside of work so employees can connect on a more personal level.

3) Employees have stopped putting in extra effort or taking initiative

There are a few potential reasons why employees might stop putting in extra effort or taking initiative in the workplace. One possibility is that they don’t feel appreciated. Another possibility is that they feel that their hard work isn’t making a difference.

If employees feel like their extra effort isn’t being recognized, it’s important to find ways to show them that you appreciate their contributions. Celebrate individual successes, or simply thank employees for their hard work. Highlight the importance of their work, or provide feedback on how they’re making a difference.

4) Employees’ work quality has decreased

A decrease in work quality is one of the most common signs of low employee engagement. When employees are disengaged, they may start to produce lower-quality work. This can manifest itself in several different ways, such as taking longer to complete tasks, making more mistakes, or producing work that is not up to par with usual standards.

If you start to notice a decline in your team’s work quality, it may be an indication that they are not engaged and motivated. You can try to address this by checking in with your team regularly, setting clear goals and expectations, and providing feedback and recognition.

5) Employees are constantly vocalizing their dissatisfaction with their job or company

Employees may voice their dissatisfaction in several ways, such as talking about their job in a negative way to friends and family, complaining on social media, or actively looking for a new job. In some cases, employees may even engage in disruptive or destructive behavior.

A study by Sprout Social found that 71% of employees are vocal about their job on social media, and more than half (56%) of employees who post about their job are negative.

This poses a huge problem for employers. Not only are employees airing their dirty laundry in public, but they’re also damaging the company’s reputation. Employers need to find a way to address this issue before it gets out of hand.

Managers need to be tuned in to these conversations and understand when and how to address employee concerns.

They should create an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns and should be responsive to any complaints or concerns. Managers should also be aware of the signs that employees may be dissatisfied, and take steps to address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.


cheerful multiethnic businesswomen shaking hands in modern office with an employee to address issues of low employee engagement
Photo by George Milton on

Employee engagement is a key performance indicator for any business. When employees are engaged, they are more productive and creative. They also tend to be happier and more satisfied with their work. Low employee engagement, on the other hand, can lead to several problems for your business, including decreased productivity, decreased creativity, and even decreased profitability.

There are many warning signs of low employee engagement. If you notice any of these signs in your business, it’s time to take corrective measures.

We have shared the 5 most common warning signs of low employee engagement, possible reasons and what to do if you see these signs. If you have any tips for our readers, please share in the comments section.

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By BMB Staff

Business Management Blog is your online resource for business management and strategy articles, insights, ideas and tools. We talk about Business Management, Strategy, Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, Leadership and Career Growth. Subscribe to the blog to get updates about new posts.

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