Whoa! – Employee Engagement Downside
Employee engagement is being talked about a lot and well it should be. All companies that want to succeed also want engaged employees. These companies want employees that are committed to the success of the company, success of their teams and give the discretionary effort to see it flourish. When the employees are satisfied, know the goals, and go after success the company thrives. Employees want to succeed.
So let’s say there is a company that has all the engaged employees they could want. Things move along smoothly and the employee smile as they take care of each transaction and view the customers as incredibly important. So no downsides to this, right?
But there could be if this is not maintained. Engaged employees can quickly become disengaged if they feel taken advantage of or that management does not care. If they feel that more is placed on them constantly because they are doing so well which now is becoming hard to get done and no one seems to notice there can be frustration. If the employees feel they do not have support they can and usually will begin to disengage. This is a defensive reaction in response to feeling they are without a foundation.
Even model employees can ‘give up’ if they sense that they’re being asked to do more and more, and with fewer resources, or they feel they are asked to do more than others in the same job. They can begin to exhibit a number of undesirable attitudes and behaviors. Some of these are listed here.
• a decline in helping behavior
• increased anger at supervisors
• a view that expectations are too much;
• additional stress and frustrations
• slowing down in productivity
• Less smiles
• Watching the clock
• More excuses happening
• Bringing up the performance of others as less or getting away with things
Engaged employees can easily become disengaged if not managed properly or if not given attention and support from the manager that maintains the team. Maintenance of a team isn’t talked about a lot but it is critical in having engaged employees. Like a sports team a company has skilled players and cannot take these players for granted.
Companies need to realize that once-engaged employees who are now disengaged can cause more harm to a company than those who were never engaged. The reason is these employees are angry because they want it the way it was. They want it to go back to everyone being pleased and the team succeeding. But mostly the anger comes from the feeling that they care more than management and more than the company as a whole. Employees get upset when they think people are not kept accountable and that includes management.
In the end if there are engaged employees that are turned into disengaged employees it will be worse because of the frustrations, hurt, and anger that also now has to be dealt with.