How to catch signs of disengagement at work
Tips on how managers should deal with their team members and their expectations
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.
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.