You can (and should) keep highly motivated but disengaged employees from walking out the door.
Just because employees are disengaged doesn’t mean they aren’t motivated. That is the conclusion of a new report, which found that 26% of employees are motivated but unhappy. After studying over 30,000 employees, the study authors found that, while these workers are disengaged, they are highly motivated and give 100% at work. However, they don’t recommend their company as a great organization to work for, and you could lose them and their productivity if you don’t act now.
To help disengaged but unmotivated employees, consider looking at how their values align with the company’s. “If an employee is highly motivated to give their best effort at work, it makes sense that they would feel disengagement or disillusionment when they see inconsistency or hypocrisy in the application of the organization’s values,” the report’s authors say. When workers see others as ignoring or disregarding organizational values yet still succeeding, this can contribute to their disengagement. Make sure that you are applying policies, standards, and expectations consistently and fairly across the board.
Engaged workers believe that they can count on leaders to take proper corrective action when there is a serious error or problem. However, motivated but unhappy employees aren’t confident that leaders will do the right thing. It is important to figure out why they lack faith in leaders’ ability to troubleshoot. Look at how you involve employees in problem solving, how you communicate decisions and solutions from the top, and how error resolution impacts workers.
It may help to give unhappy but motivated employees ample opportunity to suggest and implement improvements, as these workers commonly don’t believe that their leaders encourage or recognize such involvement. Even if they aren’t engaged, motivated employees likely have good ideas about improvements and solutions; and they probably would welcome the opportunity to share them with a receptive audience.
Of course, if you seek input from these workers, but sure to act on it as appropriate. If they continually offer ideas and suggestions over time and their insights are ignored or dismissed, they could become further disengaged and disillusioned; and you could eventually lose them to another employer.
If you can take steps to involve disengaged but motivated employees in decision making and problem solving and increase their confidence in leadership’s ability to manage fairly and effectively, you are more likely to retain these otherwise good workers; and they eventually could become your best recruiters.