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Coaching the disengaged


We investigated in a previous blog what employers need to look out for to identify demotivated employees within their organisation. This week, we consider some of the best approaches to coaching these disengaged workers back to full engagement within your organisation.


Empowerment is crucial


Empowering a person who appears to be lacking engagement might appear counterintuitive. After all, if a person doesn’t look interested, should they really be gifted more responsibility? The counter to this point is that empowerment is widely recognised as one of the key engagement drivers for many employees. It demonstrates trust in their abilities and skills, and shows that the organisation is willing to grant them a measure of autonomy to get work done.


Look at development opportunities


Some people become disengaged because they no longer feel challenged in their roles. Work with employees to identify areas of interest related to the current job, and help identify training & development opportunities that might be open to them to help enhance their skills.


Show them how they are performing


For some disengaged employees, it can come as a shock when they are shown how their performance has changed. If, for example, a person has lost interest in their role because they want a fresh challenge, they may view their performance as simply steady because they believe they can do a role with their eyes closed. Demonstrate how their performance has really altered, and be prepared to set fresh goals to encourage a resurgence of productivity and engagement.


Create an action plan


The above approaches all require some definitive action on the part of the organisation, as well as the individual. It is important to formalise these plans into a focused strategy that sets down expectations and targets to achieve. This provides an opportunity for employee and employer to chart their progress, showing how promised changes (on your part, and on theirs) have made an impact on overall work.


Know when to quit


There is point, of course, where any sensible organisation will have to consider more drastic action for an employee that is actively disengaged in their work. As an organisation, there needs to be a balance struck between recovering engagement for the benefit of both parties, and removing a negative influence that might be actively damaging broader workplace morale. A knee-jerk reaction should not be the way, but organisations should also not cling on too long in hope of prompting a change.
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