“Do you love your job?” If your response is no, then one of the primary reasons could be demotivation. Employee disengagement is one of the biggest reasons why people leave their jobs. Even a well-performing employee can be disengaged at work.

This is why you see organizations investing a lot of resources into keeping employees motivated. Workplace culture is a priority because actively engaged employees boost productivity and performance in the process. Workplace morale is one of the primary motivators, which in turn reduces turnover rates.

Read on to understand the importance of employee motivation and how to motivate actively disengaged employees successfully.


  1. Being Disengaged At Work

  2. Spotting Actively Disengaged Employees

  3. Analyzing Disengaged Employees

  4. Strategies For Motivating Employees In The Workplace

  5. Grow With Your Team! 

Being Disengaged At Work


Before we fast-forward to strategies that can help overcome disengagement, let’s understand the meaning of being actively disengaged. Someone who doesn’t enjoy their work tends to do the bare minimum and is unlikely to think about the bigger picture is an actively disengaged employee. They’re typically unhappy at work and demonstrate their unhappiness in several ways. They even undermine what their coworkers have achieved and lack interest as well as curiosity. Disengaged employees produce a negative influence over the workplace culture and organizations should take measures to re-engage employees.

Poor management is often the root cause of disengaged employees. Managers often shoulder the primary responsibility of their team’s happiness and job satisfaction. As a manager or team leader, you need to find a way to gauge your employees’ needs and expectations, while providing them opportunities for growth and development. However, it’s important to remember that one size doesn’t always fit all. Everyone has unique expectations from their roles and careers. While it may be a time-consuming process to re-engage an actively disengaged employee, it’s worth the effort. 

Spotting Actively Disengaged Employees


There are a few telltale signs that indicate lack of employee motivation. Signs include increased absenteeism, frequent use of social media during work hours, low energy levels in meetings and discussions, poor attitude and lack of enthusiasm. To prevent employees from taking you by surprise and handing in their papers, here are some early signs of an actively disengaged employee:

1. Resounding Silence

You may have some introverted people who don’t enjoy voicing their thoughts and opinions as much. But there are others who like to participate in group activities such as brainstorming meets and group discussions. Disengaged employees are likely to remain silent and not participate in groupthink. They lack energy and show no excitement even when good things happen for their team or organization. 

2. Dipping Curiosity

Curiosity is a healthy sign that indicates an employee’s willingness to learn and grow in their roles. However, when individuals are actively disengaged, they tend to remove themselves from opportunities for growth and learning. They are unlikely to take initiative and lead projects enthusiastically. The lack of challenge and willingness to do things is an obvious indicator of a lack of employee motivation and engagement. 

3. Unhealthy Activities

Individuals can develop certain unhealthy patterns that manifest as unhealthy habits over time. You may monitor how many times an employee takes breaks—whether it’s a walk, coffee or snacks. If the individual is leaving their desk quite often, it means that they aren’t focused. Even at their desk, they may seem distracted; you may find them spending a lot of time conversing with others or scrolling through their phone.

Analyzing Disengaged Employees


As we have already established, there are various factors that lead to employee disengagement at work. People with different needs and expectations may be demotivated in different ways. If you wish to keep your team engaged, you need to prioritize various kinds of motivation in management. Here are some common reasons as to why individuals feel disengaged at work:

1. Lack Of Information

In an age when information is constantly available at our fingertips, not having enough information can throw people off. Employees may struggle to look for information inside the organization because of multiple reasons. The driving forces behind the search for information are unclear leadership vision, where managers don’t communicate the big picture with their team; lack of meaning, where employees don’t find purpose in what they do and lack of trust in management, where employees find it difficult to be open around their supervisors.

2. Lack Of Facilities

Employees may get frustrated with individual elements within the work environment as well. Low flexibility can obstruct satisfaction as employees need to be able to exert autonomy to a certain extent. Even tools and technologies—old and new—can make it difficult for individuals to perform their daily tasks. Other common factors include compensation, employment policies and work-life balance. Even a lack of growth and learning opportunities such as employee training and development programs can prevent individuals from stepping outside their comfort zones.

3. Lack Of Community

One of the biggest driving forces of motivating employees in the workplace is a sense of camaraderie and community. Social connections and bonds are important for any sort of professional success. People need to be able to come together, collaborate and work on things to boost an organization’s performance. The lack of team spirit, increased social isolation and minimal cooperation can impact employee morale to a great extent. Employees need to find people they can trust and collaborate with. 

Strategies For Motivating Employees In The Workplace


Many organizations are under the impression that a higher salary package or monetary perks are the only way to engage employees and boost their morale. While monetary incentives are a good motivator, they aren’t the most viable in the long run. To motivate employees is to create willingness as well as encourage individuals to fully utilize their abilities. Management has to recognize what motivates their employees to achieve results. Here are some other ways in which you or your organization can re-engage employees:

1. Motivation Is A Two-Way Street

Just as employees are encouraged to work toward organizational goals, management should take active steps toward improving employee motivation. A mutually beneficial environment leads to effective results. Start by gaining a deeper understanding of what motivates your team to perform. Schedule meetings with your staff and ask them what they want to achieve to create an effective action plan.

2. Create A Learning Environment

Say one of your team members wants to work on a project that requires technical skills. You can support their aspirations by helping them study and build these skills through learning and development programs. A healthy learning environment creates loyalty and motivates employees to exceed expectations. You can even motivate them to work as a team and use their skills to solve problems together. 

3. Do The Big-Picture Thinking

Goal-setting is another important aspect of motivation in management. You can discuss personal employee goals and work together to align them with organizational goals. This way, everyone will be on the same page. People will begin to map their individual purpose to their roles. They will feel more accountable and are likely to think about the mission more seriously. Goal-setting brings clarity about roles and responsibilities.

4. Set New Standards And Examples

Practicing what you preach is by far the most visible form of motivation. For example, if you want to motivate employees to be punctual, you should reach work a little before time. Leading by example means incorporating and practicing what you’re trying to teach. When others see you working hard to achieve results, they’ll be more inclined to follow. You’ll also find it easier to persuade your employees if you exhibit some of the qualities you’re trying to instill. 

5. Celebrate Your Team’s Effort

Teamwork is built on mutual appreciation and acknowledgment of one another’s work. Whether it’s you or someone else in your team, remember that rewards and recognition go a long way. If you expect someone to keep working without giving them credit, it may not turn out well. Motivating employees in the workplace is about telling them that they’re capable of more than they believe. So, acknowledging their effort is a simple and effective way to keep them engaged. 

Grow With Your Team!


The process of motivation and re-engaging your team is beneficial for everyone involved. In addition to increased productivity and efficiency, you create a loyal workforce. People are likely to hold themselves accountable and will be more upfront about their needs and challenges. They’re also more open to change, seek new opportunities such as learning and developing new skills and knowledge and are more proactive and involved in projects.

If you want your team to achieve their true potential and achieve goals in a timely and efficient manner, you need to understand their goals and expectations. Harappa’s online team management course Managing Teamwork will teach you how best to gain a deeper understanding of your team, understand their working styles and collaborate better using emotional intelligence. The Bruce Tuckman Model framework will help you learn different stages of team formation and growth while the Skill-Will Matrix will help you assess your team’s skills and willingness to fulfill responsibilities. Grow with your team to lead them to success. Start your free trial now!

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