Back to all Posts

How to identify a disengaged employee?

Posted By

Disengaged employees are the ones who are not enthusiastic and committed towards their work or their workplace. These employees are less involved in an organization’s activities and can drag down the performance of the organization as a whole. They may also be the candidates for leaving the organization.

The growth of an organization not only depends on its market value but it also depends on its employees and their productivity. A good leader will always try to make active plans to find disengaged employees and motivate them towards the growth of the business.

Following are a few signs to identify disengaged employees or team-members:

Frequent excuses

Team leader – “You had to complete this module by end of day and now you are saying that you are not able to finish it off.”

Team member – “There was some problem in my computer and therefore I was not able to meet the deadline. Also, my module was dependent on other member’s module and I did not get any feedback from him.”

Disengaged employees frequently give excuses to run away from work and try to play blame games. You can easily distinguish them from genuine impediments because they will specify impediments only when someone follows up with them on the missed deadlines.

Do not believe asking questions

Team leader – “You have been assigned this module, which you have to deliver in five working days. Do you have any questions or concerns?”

Team member – “None”

Disengaged employees blindly accept the task assigned to them and do not ask questions, such as purpose, target audience, and significance of the project. They do not enquire about scope of work or raise concerns if a deadline is too aggressive. They work in “I don’t care” mode, which can be considered as the first sign of disengagement.

Complaining mode

Team member – “I am unable to do my work, because my workstation is in a place where there is too much noise.”

Disengaged employees are always in complaining mode and they are never satisfied with anything. They mostly do not agree with one thing or the other.

Lack of enthusiasm

Team leader – “You will be glad to know that we have won the bid and have got the opportunity to work on this challenging project. For you, this project will definitely help learn new technologies in depth.”

Team member – “Hmm”

Disengaged employees are not necessarily happy about a situation and tend to lack enthusiasm for it.


There are few more examples, such as gossip, know-it-all, no initiative, irresponsible, distracted, and no growth. It is easy to spot the disengaged employees. They do not care about whether the company succeeds or fails. These are the people who instead of helping the organization grow, drag it down. It is possible that these employees are disengaged because of an expectation mismatch. Corrective action should be taken to address this so that they do not spread their disengagement to others in the team.

Enjoyed reading?

Subscribe to our newsletter

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]