5 Signs of Disengaged Employees (And How to Re-Engage Them)

Employee engagement is a key factor in ensuring success within an organization. Unfortunately, identifying disengagement can be difficult as employee behavior is only sometimes direct and relatively often goes unnoticed until it is too late. This blog post provides 5 signs of disengaged employees and ways to re-engage them before they become even more disconnected from the task.

1) Do Not Care About Work

Several indicators point to an employee not caring about the job. These include lacking enthusiasm for tasks, decreased productivity, and complacent body language, such as slouching or not making eye contact.

2) Always Late or Absent

When employees consistently come late to work or take sick days without a discernible cause, it may indicate a larger issue – disengagement. This can create frustration among other teams and hinder productivity across the business.

3) Lots of Negativity and Complaining

Negativity and complaining can be signs of disengaged employees, making it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently. Sparks of negativity around the workspace can have a domino effect on morale, leading to reductions in productivity and morale.

4) Unwilling to Take Initiative or Show Creativity

Evidence may include a lack of initiative or failure to show creativity. When employees are not taking initiative and bringing their ideas to the table, it could be a sign that they’re demotivated and feel undervalued by the organization.

5) Reluctant to Interact With Their Team or Company Culture

This can include everything from consistently arriving late for meetings, a reluctance to participate in discussions, offering little to no feedback during work-related activities, having limited interaction with other employees outside of the workplace, and complaining about tasks assigned from superiors or colleagues.

How to Re-Engage Employees

If you recognize any of the above signs, then you may be wondering what you can do to turn things around. Here are some tips:

Identify the Cause

Employee disengagement can come from various sources, from an inability to feel connected to the organization’s mission and vision to a need for clarity in roles and responsibilities. 

When employees need to understand how they fit into the overall plan clearly, they may become easily discouraged; thus, re-engagement must begin with exploring what’s causing the employee’s disengagement.

Communicate and Ask Questions

Open communication and feedback loops help bolster emotional connections and trust between employees and leadership teams. Managers should proactively engage in one-on-one conversations so employees know their perspectives are heard, valued, and taken seriously and that any needs or issues identified are addressed. 

Implement Change Management Strategies

This may include team-building activities or training sessions to educate employees on the company’s mission and objectives. Change management strategies are key in establishing a successful business, allowing the team to stay motivated and remain engaged in the organization.

Celebrate Successes Along the Way

Celebrating successes can boost morale, encourage collaboration and create healthy team competition. Celebrations mustn’t become overly competitive or excessive, though; focusing on small wins – such as the completion of sub-goals or milestones – is an effective way to keep everyone engaged.


If you’re noticing any of these five signs of disengaged employees, take action to re-engage them. With a little effort, you can get your team back on track!

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