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Do Disengaged Employees Impact Engaged Employees?

It’s no secret that people in organizations have an impact on those around them…both positively and negatively. According to Gallup, 72% of US workers are not engaged in their work. To what extent the exact level of disengagement might be, we can’t say for sure, but any material level of disengagement will affect overall results.

And, also according to Gallup, 18% of disengaged employees actually undermine the success of fellow employees….18%! So what we have here is a group of employees who who are disengaged at some level who intentionally or unintentionally wreak enough havoc among other employees that the actual impact of disengagement is much bigger than one might imagine.

Here are a few ways that could happen:

  • The disengaged employees talk disparagingly enough about the company or management on a regular basis that the engaged employee starts to have doubts and becomes somewhat less engaged.
  • The disengaged employee’s work is sub par and/or the level of productivity is so low that other employees become irritated and blame management for allowing it or causing it to happen.
  • The engaged employee’s work is dependent on work performed by the disengaged employee and productivity/output of the engaged employee suffers.
  • The engaged employee intentionally disrupts or sabotages the work of the engaged employee.

The bottom line is that engagement, while perhaps an overused term, is a real issue in most organizations. It’s important to have a plan to minimize disengagement and to “manage out” those individuals who have a negative impact on those around them. Is that plan in place in your organization?