3 min read

Disengaged At Work? You’re Not Alone

Disengaged At Work? You’re Not Alone

Burned out. Bored at work. Demotivated. If this sounds like you, there is a good chance you may be disengaged at work. According to Gallup, nearly 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. And unfortunately, the number of those disengaged at work has risen over the last year.

Disengagement can show up in various ways, but overall it is apathy toward your job. When you’re disengaged, you’re unwilling to put in the extra effort, lack enthusiasm, and do not enjoy your role like you once did. It is a general dissatisfaction with what you do.

Given the events of the last two years, it is not surprising more employees are losing motivation at work. If you’re feeling this way, know you’re not alone.

Why Am I So Disengaged at Work?

The reasons someone disengages at work are unique to the individual, their direct manager, and the situation they find themselves in. There can be endless reasons why you’re disengaged at work, but it fundamentally comes down to your unmet needs. When Gallup, the leader in employee engagement, conducts their annual survey, they have key workplace elements they use to measure employee engagement. If any of the following sounds amiss, these could answer why you’re disengaged.

  1. I know what is expected of me at work
  2. I have the resources I need to do my job
  3. I have the opportunity to do what I do best at work
  4. In the last week, I have received recognition for doing a good job
  5. My leader cares about me as a person
  6. There is someone who encourages my development at work
  7. My opinions seem to count and are appreciated
  8. The purpose and mission of my organization make me feel my job is important
  9. My colleagues are committed to producing quality work
  10. I have a work best friend
  11. In the last six months, someone in the company has talked to me about my progress
  12. In the last year, I have had the opportunity to learn and grow

Are you struggling to motivate your employees? If so, you need to read this  which will help you turn that around.


How to Overcome Disengagement at Work

While it may feel like many of the items on this list are out of your control, there are several ways you can take your engagement into your own hands. If you’re feeling disengaged at work, here is what you can do.

  1. Speak Up
  2. Take a Break
  3. Create a Development Plan
  4. Work with a Professional Coach
  5. Set Goals for Yourself

Disengaged at Work What To Do - Niagara Institute



Speak Up

As noted, many of the items on the list can be directly linked to your manager. It’s no surprise that Gallup has found up to 70% of the variance in an employee's level of engagement is directly linked to their manager.

Having an honest conversation with your manager about how you’re feeling and giving constructive feedback to your boss on where they can improve and what you need from them can be the first step in turning around disengagement.

Take a Break

Sometimes, a break from work can give you a new perspective. When you’re overtired, everything can seem much worse than it is. And unfortunately, we’re doing ourselves a disservice in our culture that prides itself on being busy and never taking a vacation.

In addition to taking time off, ensure you schedule breaks throughout the day and take them. A recent US survey found there is real value in taking a break. It uncovered:

  • 94% said they feel happier when they take a break
  • 94% agree a break helps them gain a fresh perspective
  • 91% agree a break is an important part of maintaining their mental focus
  • 88% said after a break they return to work refreshed and reenergized

Create a Development Plan

If your disengagement stems from a lack of learning and development opportunities, take your development into your own hands. You’ll want to start by thinking through and creating a personal development plan. Your plan will outline what you want to learn, why obtaining these new skills will help you, and what resources you will need. Not sure where to start? Use our personal development plan template.

Niagara Institute Interpersonal Skills Personal Development Plan

Share your rationale and plan with your manager to secure their help and any needed resources to put your development plan into action. By doing so, you’re demonstrating your commitment to learning while also regaining control over the development opportunities you crave that will make you feel more engaged at work.

Work With a Professional Coach

When you’re feeling disengaged and demotivated, the help of a professional coach can make all the difference by providing clarity in the situation. A coach is someone outside of your organization who has the experience and accreditation to work with you to develop tools, skills, and knowledge and act as a sounding board so you can overcome feeling disengaged.

Set Goals For Yourself

The process of creating professional goals you wish to attain may be the spark needed to re-engage with work. Goal setting and visioning where you want to go with your career can be the positive momentum you need to make you feel empowered and inspired once again in your job. To get started, use this workbook to build your own professional goals.

Turning Around Demotivated Employees: A How-To Guide for Motivating Employees as a Manager

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