May 3, 2022 0 Comment

5 Signs of Disengaged Employees to be Watched

Watch the Video

5 Signs of Disengaged Employees to be Watched

Recent research by Gallup shows that around 17.2% of the workforce within most organizations is actively disengaged. According to this research, the cost per disengaged employee for the organization is almost 34% of the employee’s salary. Hence, organizations need watch out for these 5 signs of disengaged employees to take appropriate action.

While most organizations are focused on improving employee engagement levels; they often choose to ignore their disengaged employees. This can have a major impact on the workforce productivity and efficiency as well as the bottom-line of the organization.

Understanding the Reasons for Disengagement

One of the key aspects of handling disengaged employees is to understand the reasons leading to their disengagement. It helps the organization tackle the root causes of disengagement. It also helps them proactively identify all employees, who might be impacted by similar factors.

The reasons for disengagement can range from dissatisfaction with the compensation policies, career growth opportunities, rewards and recognition policies, learning and development opportunities, or even their supervisors.

Employees may also become disengaged due to negative work culture or HR policies that they consider unfair.

What are the Common Signs of Disengaged Employees?

Contrary to popular belief, disengaged employees might not necessarily be the least productive members of the workforce. In fact, in most cases, a large percentage of disengaged employees were once highly engaged employees.

By addressing the root causes of disengagement, organizations can minimize its impact on business growth, goodwill, and productivity.

Hence, they need to keep a look out for the most common signs of disengaged employees. Here are the a few of those:

1. Sustained Drop in Employee Productivity

One of the key indicators of disengagement amongst the members of the workforce is a sudden decline in employee productivity. Missed deadlines, falling productivity, drop in quality or increased error rate are all common symptoms.

However, organizations should monitor these factors over a period of time to understand whether they are temporary or not.

2. Withdrawal from Organizational Activities

Another important sign that organizations need to look out for is the social withdrawal symptoms in their employees. If an otherwise social employee becomes quiet and withdrawn at work, then there is something amiss.

Less participation in organizational activities or their lack of enthusiasm in new projects are also signs of withdrawal. By adopting such an attitude, employees might actually be trying to convey their distress to their employers.

3. Gradual Increase in Absenteeism

When employees become disengaged, they simply prefer to stay away from work resulting in a higher absenteeism rate. Such employees generally tend to come up with a wide range of excuses to justify their absence from work.

Sudden spurt in sick leaves by a seemingly healthy employee or rising number of family emergencies could be other signs. Organizations should verify the reasons behind such changes in employee attendance levels especially when they have had good past records.

4. Increase in Workplace Discord

If organizations see frequent discord at the workplace involving specific employees, then they should investigate further.

Happy and engaged employees rarely lash out at or visibly express their anger towards their peers or even managers. So, if certain employees exhibit such behavior regularly, organizations must try and understand what is driving it.

5. Decline in Communication

It is quite easy to confuse reduced communication with withdrawal exhibited by disengaged employees. However, often employees may continue to participate in organizational activities, but they might gradually cut down their communication with others.

Such employees may not speak much in team meetings or with their supervisors. They might not respond properly when asked for feedback or inputs. They might even choose to stay mum about the challenges and difficulties they are facing at work.

All these aspects, when viewed together, can forewarn the organization about the potential disengagement of the concerned employees.


Organizations should look out for these usual signs of disengaged employees and take timely action to improve employee engagement levels in the organization.

To stay updated on the latest HiFives blogs follow us on Twitter (@MyHiFives)

HiFives ( is an employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. The platform enables supervisors and co-workers to nominate, recognize and reward employees using a points-based system. Budget management, jury-based evaluation and multi-level approval workflows are built into the platform. HiFives has social features such as a wall of fame and gamification features such as leaderboards, e-certificates and digital badges. It also has a global redemption system with country-specific e-gift card options. HiFives integrates with all leading HRMS systems, Office 365, Google Workspace, MS Teams, Slack and other popular tools used at the workplace. HiFives is used by many large enterprises, small businesses and startups across 25+ countries in the world, in many industries including manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media.