Are You Engaged or Disengaged? Take This Survey

Office lifeWhether you are a company of 2 or 2000, we’ve all worked with someone who has literally “checked out”. Maybe it was an employee, coworker, manager or even YOU. The problem is that disengagement is like a virus that spreads quickly. It has immediate negative repercussions on productivity, communication, collaboration, innovation, morale, customer service, you name it!

Not surprising, it’s also costing your company BIG TIME. The Gallup organization estimates that over $300 billion a year is lost due to disengaged workers. Think of all the POSITIVE CHANGES to be made with that money!

Take a few minutes to complete our quiz designed to measure your engagement levels or if you share this with your employees and discuss the results. Don’t forget to read our suggestions for addressing disengagement.

SURVEY: Am I Engaged or Disengaged? (Y = Yes, N= No, DK = Don’t Know)
1. My manager cares about me as a person
2. My coworkers take into account my opinion
3. I have clear expectations of what I should be doing at work
4. I understand the purpose of my role and how it supports the organization
5. I readily volunteer to take on new challenges or projects
6. My manager and I openly communicate about issues of importance to me
7. My manager is interested in my personal development and career goals
8. I have the opportunity to use my strengths in the work I do on a daily basis
9. My manager doesn’t play favorites
10. I have the support and resources I need to do my job to the best of my ability
11. Everyone pulls their own weight on my team
12. Performance issues are dealt with quickly and effectively
13. Building relationships and collaborating with others in the company is encouraged
14. I know what I am being evaluated on
15. I receive the training, coaching and mentoring needed to do my job successfully
16. I have a clear understanding of what success in my role looks like
17. I feel a sense of pride in my organization and the products/services we provide
18. I talk positively about my job to friends and family
19. I have a sense of ownership and accountability over my work
20. I steer clear of gossip and negative talk of others on my team

15 – 20 Yes ~ You are Very Engaged
10 – 14 Yes ~ You are Mostly Engaged
1 – 9 Yes ~ You are Not Very Engaged

How did you do? I suspect that over half of you might currently be experiencing  some level of disengagement in your work. Here are some suggestions that might help you and your team increase their engagement levels.

Top 5 Suggestions for Addressing Disengagement

  1. Ask for a challenging project to work on that you would find interesting. Preferably something that would stretch your abilities and it is not directly tied to your role. If you are leading a team, be sure to ask them what they would find challenging and interesting and discuss how to incorporate into their role.
  2. Reassess your workload and how much time is required to each task. Are you completely overburdened due to being short staffed? Consider what 1-2 low priority items you could talk to your manager about delegating or letting go of. If you are the leader of a team, you can help your employee prioritize correctly by regularly meeting to discuss priority alignment.
  3. Have a heart to heart discussion with your manager on where you are right now and more importantly what you need that you are currently not getting from your work. Research has shown that unmet and unspoken expectations are large contributors to employee disengagement. However, once those expectations are spoken ~ even if they cannot be met, engagement levels go up. If you are the leader, create a safe space with employees to discuss their expectations about their work. Assessment tools such as the Workplace Expectations Profile can help you with this discussion which is a tool we use with our client teams.
  4. Ask for more accountability in your work. Are their decisions you think you could make that are currently being made by your manager? Talk with your manager about what this might look like if some decisions were delegated to you? If you are the leader, consider your delegation skills and get some coaching if you need help learning to rely more on your team. This not only build their skills but their confidence and loyalty as well.
  5. Revisit your career path. When is the last time you considered doing something new? Are their opportunities to job shadow in your organization? Discuss these options with your manager. As the leader, be sure to have regular conversations about employee career opportunities including increasing job responsibilities, career progression ideas, certifications, etc.

I hope that this survey and ideas for addressing engagement levels is something that you discuss with your manager or with your team. Having a strong company requires strong team relationships and open communication. If it doesn’t exist then over time you’re left with disengaged employees who are most likely just picking up a paycheck or actively looking for another job. Not a great strategy for growth.

Expect great things! Tara Powers

10 comments on “Are You Engaged or Disengaged? Take This Survey

  1. Phil Dyer on said:

    Tara –

    Great post! Does this come from the Gallup Survey that showed that 71% of workers are either not engaged or actively disengaged? That number shocked me!

    You’ve got some great tips on how to get back on the engagement track. One additional one that I’d like to add is to take a big step back and ensure you’re actively working in your strengths. My experience is that most disengaged workers spend 30% (or less) on activities that actually use their true strengths.

    Phil Dyer
    Chief Visionary | Broughton Advisory

    • Tara Powers on said:

      Phil – it would make sense that your 71% number is accurate. It’s certainly something that I deal with all the time in companies and its a problem. Your idea of looking at strengths is also very very important! People might be in the wrong role or performing the wrong tasks and that can be easily fixed sometimes.

  2. Mitch Tublin on said:

    One of the areas which is difficult to deal with is the widespread utilization of the internet for personal items while at work. This might be through the work PC or laptop, or personal cell or other device. This falls into your checked out area in some respects.

  3. Sheila Wagner, PT, CN on said:

    Tara, this is great info for not just the employees to read and follow but also the employers. I really like making sure that my office manager has creative and challenging tasks to do that really engage her strengths and purpose. Thanks!

  4. The Greenlight Coach on said:

    When I worked in an office, the biggest source of disengagement was feeling under-appreciated by the higher ups and even when asked for feedback and were told little things that could be done to make the employees feel appreciated, they went in one ear and out the other, so I agree with Sheila, employers should read this as well. Of course feeling under-appreciated and being under-compensated is a great kick in the butt to launch your own business, so I’m glad my boss didn’t listen :-)

  5. Jennifer Bourn on said:

    Tara – These are great questions! You know, it’s sometimes the smallest things that can make an employee feel disengaged and “over it.” When I used to work for a PR firm, they hired several new people and never added any of them to the company website. So when they’d go to pitch new clients, they’d ask, well, why aren’t you on the website … just that small simple thing made them feel unimportant and undervalued – and embarrassed sometimes. And thopse feelings resulted in disengaged employees.

  6. Sue Painter on said:

    This is so useful for small biz owners. Thanks much for sharing the questions and suggestions, Tara.

  7. @MagneticSilvia on said:

    Great post! Very useful tips.

  8. Katherine C. H. E. on said:

    Great questions! If you are not engaged, also ask yourself if you should be doing something else… there is ALWAYS a way to make the living you want doing something you don’t have to force yourself to be engaged in… Life is too precious to waste it just passing time in your job. Do what you love!
    Katherine C.H.E.
    Author, Be True Rich

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