How Does Your Company Fight Disengagement Monsters?

As an HR professional, one of your primary responsibilities is to spot employee disengagement and implement tactics and methods to boost engagement and improve the employee experience. You know that the cost of employee disengagement is far worse than the return on investment you receive from implementing engagement and incentive programs. But, spotting disengagement ‘monsters’ isn’t always simple.

The work environment, the type of work assigned, workplace leadership, and relationships with coworkers all affect an employee’s experience. When an employee has a poor relationship with their coworkers or management, their level of motivation, confidence, and engagement can suffer. In turn, it diminishes productivity and, eventually, wears away at the employee’s loyalty to the company.

How your employees communicate with each other and how their personalities intermingle can cause poor employee experience. There are many personality types in your workplace. It’s important to have a diverse group of employees who think, feel, and experience things differently. However, your company’s culture is reliant on the personalities in your office working together rather than against each other. At times, things like ego, favoritism, disruption, resistance can cause friction.  

 Can you spot these disengagement ‘monsters’ lurking in your company?





A team of people is required to accomplish your company goals. And when you have employees prioritizing their own needs over the needs of others, it becomes discouraging to those who are made to wait. Your employees crave attention, and they want coworkers and leaders that work with them to generate ideas, solve problems, and answer questions. Certain personalities in the workplace can come across as not being a team player if they are enabled to make demands, ignore requests, and only focus on improving themselves.

Improve the employee experience by creating a culture of appreciation in your workplace. Empower your employees to say thank you more often by using an engagement program that offers peer-to-peer recognition. Inflated egos will shatter when employees learn how to appreciate each other for one and other’s contributions.



No matter how hard you try, you will always have dissatisfied employees. When it comes to recognition, there will be employees who view it as an act of favoritism. They may get the feeling that the same employees are recognized over and over while they never receive an ounce of appreciation. This attitude is toxic and can spread quickly throughout the workplace. As employees get the impression that only a select few are worthy of praise, they get angry, and their level of productivity goes down.

Battle this disengagement monster by giving credit where credit is due. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but there are times when employers and company leaders are guilty of favoritism. It’s not always on purpose, but can be the result of personality traits that complement each other. As a human resources professional, you should always be observing employee relationships regardless of their position with the company. Then, create harmony and alignment by setting a specific outline for when and how leaders should give recognition. Employees should know the expectations and have a clear direction for their job. Leaders should be consistent and continuous in recognizing team members. You should also encourage company leaders to recognize actions, not people. This breaks the stigma that recognition is only given to the boss’s favorite and encourages other employees to perform the same actions as the employee receiving praise.




Disruptors and Instigators

Did you think the only place bullies lurk are grade school playgrounds? They can turn up in the work environment too. Even as adults, we face people who are only happy when they are disrupting others. Their power is even greater when they instigate others to do the same. This disengagement ‘monster’ is one who tries to bring others down. They may use criticism or a perceived sense of power to make other employees feel less worthy of recognition. They show off and over-celebrate their accomplishments. They come across as a poor sport whether they win or lose. They make others around them feel unworthy, discouraged and disliked. It is damaging to morale and overall engagement.

Human resources professionals in your company can get rid of this kind of disengagement monster by celebrating role models. By recognizing the people who motivate and inspire others, disruptors and instigators will have to take a seat. Encourage employees to bring their best selves to work and be productive in improving how everyone contributes to the company’s bigger picture. Company role models are the ones who are true advocates for the business. Rather than brag about accomplishments, they finish their work and quickly ask how and where they can be helpful to others. Publicly recognizing these actions will teach disruptors what behaviors are valuable to the company and, hopefully, encourage them to change their behavior to match.





One of the most dangerous things in business is doing things, “the way we have always done them.” When employees are resistant to change, they are not as innovative or creative in the problem-solving process. By clinging to old processes and sharing doubts about new methodologies, they are slowing the production process. It can be hard to defeat this disengagement monster. They are stubborn and skeptical of anything that doesn’t show immediate results.

Defeat this mindset by creating a culture of learning and innovation. Reward employees for gaining new knowledge of the industry and encourage them to attend training and classes that teach new skills that could help them be more productive. When an employee brings a new idea to the table or has developed a methodology that increases production, reward them for being an innovative contributor. Naysayers and doubters will see that the movers and shakers of the company are getting work done more efficiently and more accurately and receive recognition as a result. They’ll step up to the challenge of furthering their education or implementing a new way of doing things and soon change their stance on “how we’ve always done it” to “what if we looked into a new way of doing this.”

It’s important to observe how your employees communicate. By identifying who they are and how they react to workplace scenarios, you can determine which employees are at risk of becoming disengaged and what their needs are to improve their overall impression of the workplace. Explore different ways to improve company culture through engagement. Implementing different types of employee recognition can improve the employee experience and continue fighting the disengagement monsters in your workplace.

Create a Culture of Accountability