5 Ways To Re-engage Employees

As disengagement seems to affect about 90% of the workforce, here are five tips to follow whenever an employee starts disengaging.

Reconnect and Actively Listen

The first part of solving any problem is addressing it through an honest and respectful conversation.  An enlightened company knows that they have human beings on staff and that they have problems that require human solutions. Therefore, it might be a good idea to schedule a one-on-one discussion with your disengaged employee and ask them to tell you what is happening.

  • Is there a workplace stressor you can address together?
  • How can you help them solve the issue?
  • What do they need in order to be able to reignite their inspiration and passion on the job?

Ask these questions and listen carefully to the answers. Then you can begin to formulate an ongoing plan so that the employee/s will be less likely to disconnect again in the future.

Manage Your Team Differently

Perhaps you need to espouse a more open door policy for questions, or you may need to reduce your micromanaging tendencies.

One common reason for employee disengagement is that an individual’s needs aren’t being met through their current team or leadership structure. So after the aforementioned honest conversation, figure out what you can do differently as a manager to assist your team member in fulfilling their potential.  Perhaps you need to espouse a more open door policy for questions, or you may need to reduce your micromanaging tendencies. Whatever adjustment you need to make, you should start doing it!  Don’t skip this step as research indicates that employees spend up to 15 hours a week (a full 22 working days a year!) griping about their manager. So there is always something you can do to improve your skills.  In fact, getting feedback from your team can be really helpful to show you just where you can make those key improvements.

Set Goals Collaboratively

When addressing and assisting an employee who has lost focus at work, usually the best way to refocus their attention is to put a specific deadline in front of them. To show your team member that you truly believe they have what it takes to re-engage and deliver results, set a reasonable goal with them. Brainstorm in a way in which they can uniquely contribute to a current or future project, and set a firm deadline. Work with them and check in occasionally to help them succeed. You will soon see that first success grow their confidence for the achievement of future goals and victories.

Offer Opportunities

One of the biggest culprits behind today’s levels of disengagement is boredom at work. Many employees begin a new job with excitement and enthusiasm, only to find the day-to-day work doesn’t utilize their full potential and doesn’t require creative, problem-solving solutions. So perhaps you can shake up your employee’s daily routine. Send them to an exciting industry conference, attend an expert webinar together or set them up with a mentor in your organization. Another approach might be to find projects that challenge them or for which they have a passion as all of those options offer both individual and professional growth. These opportunities will also expand their world at work and deliver a dose of inspiration and a fresh perspective.

Acknowledge Contributions

Above a raise or a bonus, employees will cite recognition as their number one motivator for great work.

There is nothing more motivating than a simple word of appreciation at work and research has proven that this definitely works.  Above a raise or a bonus, employees will cite recognition as their number one motivator for great work. So if you are truly committed to re-engaging your disengaged employee/s, acknowledge their efforts as they start making small steps in that direction. A simple thank you works wonders in helping your disengaged employee feel like a valued and appreciated part of the team.  And, when they accomplish real results, celebrate the win publicly. It shows that employee and the entire team that you value and appreciate people and their contributions to the team.

When a previously engaged employee starts falling down the slippery slope of disengagement, the whole team feels the negative ripple effects in motivation, collaboration, and results. Follow these simple tips to turn the disengagement trend around, and your team member/s will be back to high performance and great accomplishments for your team and your entire organization.

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Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoffhttp://softskillsforsuccess.com/
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.


  1. Interesting and informative article. On this matter there is nothing certain, final, to be negligible, especially in constantly changing times. And then, every experience, opinion, study or research, survey, are always opportunities for consideration and reflection. Thank You!
    Also because, then, employee engagement is one of the most announced and least realized commitments by companies, which recognize the positive impact on productivity of a motivated and flexible workforce, willing to go the extra mile to contribute to the success of the company, but that is still far from being really engaged.