- He won’t stop complaining
- We can’t get them to speak up
- She’s been here forever and won’t change
- They won’t collaborate unless you do what they say.
Translating the actions of the disengaged seems easy: These people have problems. And it’s true that those who struggle in their engagement may lack the skill necessary to participate well with others. However, a rush to fix them or give them things for which they’re not asking results in little improvements, if any.
It’s more likely that the disengaged are saying, “I want validation. I want to be heard. And not by taking another employee survey. I want someone with authority to give me an indication that I matter.”
The misinterpreted signals from the disengaged must be accurately translated for the vision of an energized workforce to become a reality. Useful is the reminder that we can go far in engaging others by demonstrating greater empathy. And not in the form of words uttered during town halls or email blasts from the executive suite. Rather, it’s in seizing the moments that matter: daily interactions where the work is really getting done.
The leader who acts more human, who proves they care about results so much they’re willing to care about the people delivering the results, will always be the one who leads us beyond engagement: to a place of inspiration.
And it’s not even that difficult.
The next time you receive a signal, how will you prove you care?