How to catch signs of dis­en­gage­ment at work

Tips on how man­agers should deal with their team mem­bers and their ex­pec­ta­tions

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - INSIGHT - Rishi Bhat­na­gar The au­thor is a global staffing lead, Sapi­ent Global Mar­kets

Among sev­eral fac­tors that con­trib­ute to at­tri­tion, it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to pin­point the sin­gle big­gest cause for peo­ple leav­ing an or­gan­i­sa­tion. Exit in­ter­views pro­vide an in­sight inte fac­tors such as com­pen­sa­tion is­sues, work-life bal­ance is­sues, prob­lems with line man­agers and time for re­cre­ation ac­tiv­i­ties. How­ever, there isn’t a sin­gle so­lu­tion that can solve this prob­lem. HR teams spend a lot of time in pre-empt­ing the causes; and lay down peo­ple­friendly poli­cies and pro­cesses that are aimed at curb­ing at­tri­tion.

If you find that a per­son is scor­ing low in one per­for­mance round but has a his­tory of high per­for­mance, it should raise ques­tions as to why that is hap­pen­ing. Low per­for­mance could be a cause of busi­ness rea­sons such as not meet­ing ex­pec­ta­tions as per the role. But, there could be an­other cause be­hind such a dis­en­gage­ment, which in turn leads to a de­mo­ti­vated em­ployee.

An em­ployee work­ing for ex­tended pe­ri­ods on the same project and on the same tech­nol­ogy may lose en­thu­si­asm. A pe­ri­odic re­view be­comes im­por­tant for HR pro­fes­sion­als to help them eval­u­ate em­ploy­ees’ mo­ti­va­tion lev­els. An in­for­mal chat with such em­ploy­ees could help re­veal signs of dis­en­gage­ment. Rais­ing the point with busi­ness heads that an in­di­vid­ual is look­ing to change projects/tech­nolo­gies could just help save one exit and re­tain a mo­ti­vated em­ployee.

Re­view­ing in­di­vid­ual time cards is a line man­ager’s job. But as an HR team mem­ber, it would also be good to pe­ri­od­i­cally check if there are too many in­di­vid­u­als spend­ing ex­tra time on projects and call­ing it out to the busi­ness lead­ers. Work­life bal­ance has be­come a key rea­son that in­di­vid­u­als at­trite, iden­ti­fy­ing a trend and call­ing it out helps bring at­ten­tion to a seem­ingly small fac­tor that might just be a cause of big­ger is­sues.

4De­mand­ing

projects:

Some­times, a project is de­mand­ing and needs team mem­bers to work over­time; re­duc­ing num­ber of hours im­me­di­ately might not be an op­tion. Then, a sim­ple thank you note, al­low­ing flexi en­try tim­ings or send­ing the in­di­vid­u­als spend­ing ex­tra time out for lunch/din­ner might go a long way in mak­ing that em­ployee feel val­ued and recog­nised for all the hard work he/she is putting in.

Spend some time analysing line man­agers’ peo­ple skills. It isn’t an easy task, no doubt. But you might find many strong man­agers with great tech­ni­cal skills are not nec­es­sar­ily good peo­ple man­agers. It is a known fact that many peo­ple quit a job be­cause of their man­agers. Hence, it is im­por­tant to train all man­agers on de­vel­op­ing peo­ple skills and train­ing them on tech­niques of deal with their team’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

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