Behaviours at work: What to do if you're feeling disengaged

Jerome Parisse-Brassens

Disengagement is quite common in organisations and it can affect anyone. Sometimes it is temporary, sometimes it is permanent.

You know that you are disengaged when:

  • You don’t feel like going to work in the morning
  • You watch the time during the day
  • You stay isolated at work
  • You hate your manager
  • You don’t like what you do
  • You keep looking for a new job

 Behaviours at work: What to do if you're feeling disengaged 

What can you do to become more engaged?

Stopping being disengaged is about finding satisfaction in your job. Over time and in the right environment, you will become motivated and fully committed to what you are doing and to your employer. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Grab the first opportunity that presents itself to move outside your comfort zone. Tell your manager you want to be challenged. Tell them that you enjoy what you do, but that you need to keep learning. Or simply find a personal development opportunity.

  • Work on your relationship with your manager. Get to know them better. Try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their point of view. Ask to spend time with them and tell them how you are feeling. Identify what you can do to improve your relationship - relationships are always two-way.

  • Try to find meaning in what you do or in what the company does. If you work for a bank, isn’t everyone’s job to provide a service to customers and help them lead a fulfilling life?

  • Assess your personal values and identify which ones are at odds with the organisation’s values. See if you can live with that. Identify the values you like in the organisation and focus on them.

  • If all else fails, look for another job, but before signing your new contract, make sure you have assessed their culture, that you have guarantees you will grow in your job, and that your manager is someone you can respect and build a solid relationship with.


What can leaders do?

Leaders have a critical role to play in maintaining their people engaged. They must find meaning for staff in the service the organisation provides; they must make sure employees are offered opportunities for development; they must create a thriving workplace culture; and they must ensure that managers are equipped with the people skills they need to build healthy relationships with their reports.

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