Before coming to C.A. Short Company to lead their Marketing Team, I had a great job.  I left that job to come here.  My reason for throwing my name in the hat for a new opportunity was that I had identified myself as a disengaged employee.  To tell the story, I need to start at the beginning.

It was a Sunday afternoon in the Fall and the company was so busy during the week that they requested I come in on a Sunday for an interview.  I had lunch with my family and drove to the office from there.  The drive in was my first impression of this opportunity.  I noticed the trees.  They were beautiful.  It was October in the Carolinas and the Fall leaves were so welcoming.  I remember thinking to myself, "I would love to make this drive every day."  When I walked in the building for my first (and only) interview, it felt like home. As I spoke to the owning partners, it felt natural and we were all passionate about what I would bring to the table.

They offered me the job in that first interview and I accepted it.  I wanted to call this my home.  I wanted to make these people my work family.  This feeling of peace and joy lasted for quite a while.  

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The path from fully engaged to disengaged was slow like a leak in a pool float.  You notice the change but do not realize the true impact until it is flat and you find yourself treading water to stay afloat.  

Recently as I made my way up that same drive, no longer an employee of this company, I looked around me and made a mental note of how beautiful the view was.  I was immediately taken back to that first love feeling that I had with this drive so many years ago.  I wondered what had changed that made me lose that feeling. 

For months, I would go to sleep on Sunday night excited about getting to go back to work.  I looked forward to Monday because I loved marketing and on Monday, I would get to see my team again and we would do glorious things together!  I know what changed with me, it wasn’t fun anymore.  I didn’t feel as if my talent was being utilized and that made me feel lost. 

There are many factors that can disengage your employees. According to the report, State of the American Workplace, 70% of employees are NOT engaged.  In fact, in an interview, Fast Company Magazine stated that being happy was not the same thing as being engaged. So why do happy employees become disengaged? When do they stop appreciating the things that drew them in to begin with?

Let’s go through a small sampling of what can go wrong.

What Causes an Employee to Become Disengaged?

Distrust of Leadership

When an employee discovers the inability to trust their boss or members of the leadership team, it creates an immediate survival reaction. This is when the LinkedIn profile and resume gets updated and job alerts are scheduled. This once loyal employee may find themselves doing anything to cover their own back.

These fear reactions will either create a fight or flight response or a very bitter employee. Neither scenario makes for a profitable situation for the employee or the employer. In the case of a bitter employee, you may find yourself the target of a smear campaign that is detrimental to your organization.

TIP: Be an employer that your employees trust. Keep your word and practice honesty, it will serve you and your employees well.

No Longer Feeling Valuable

The joy of marketing was lost along the way for me.  As folks were placed in the wrong seat, they began interjecting their opinions in areas of which they had no real expertise. “Because I said so,” became the reason for not testing or trying new things. When methods were questioned, the blame was thwarted to someone else.  As methods were proven ineffective, results were swept under the rug and continued down the same path.  I knew what needed to done but I felt as if I was standing on a ship throwing the Heart of the Ocean into the depths of the sea; where it has no value.

The loss of value carries with it a lost sense of ownership.  An engaged employee is one who has an emotional buy-in to the values of your company.  This employee feels as if your company is their company.  Your success is their success.  Your loss is their loss.  When that deep emotional connection to the organization is gone, it takes with it the confidence in you and in themselves.

In the soon to be released eBook, 35 Ways to Influence Corporate Culture and Increase the Bottom Line, we discuss the human need to matter.  From the lowest position in your organization to the highest, we all need to know that our contribution makes a difference. We need to feel that our daily efforts are not in vain.

TIP: Be an employer that values the talents, dedication and time of your employees. Take the time to remind them that they matter. Don’t hesitate to share in the corporate wins and tell them how their work made it happen.

I No Longer Saw the Beauty

In my situation, the drive was gone both literally and metaphorically.  I didn’t see the leaves changing or flowers blooming on my drive in.  I saw the destination only. Frustration took what was a peaceful moment in my life and made it a source of anxiety.

As Marketing Manager of C.A. Short Company, it is my job to keep my creative team inspired. On the stressful days, where we need to meet a challneging deadline, I have to lead by example. If I smile and if I recognize the awesome in the mundane – they will. Sometimes that means walking through the room and saying, “This Marketing Team is awesome!” Take time to smell the roses in your own life but also take the time to leave some roses in the room for your employees to enjoy. 

You may be the very reason an employee does not become disengaged today. Your organization may gain your most valuable employee to date and you will be to thank for it.

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At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform helps you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

 

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