Employee engagement – or rather the lack of it, has been a hot HR topic for many years. Research from Deloitte indicates that the issues of “retention and engagement” have risen to No. 2 spot on the business agenda, “second only to the challenge of building global leadership.” This is rooted in compelling indications that a very high percentage of members of the workforce (as many as 66% ) would describe themselves as a disengaged employee.
It makes sense that organizations need to fine tune their career progression opportunities to attract top talent. It also means that with literally millions of employees potentially open to a move, candidates face stiffer competition to position themselves as an ideal hire when looking externally. Employers frequently complain about difficulties finding the right kind of talent. In a recent survey Glassdoor suggests that 76% of organisations fail to find the right talent. So that must be you.
What can you do to shrug off the disengaged employee moniker if your current career progression has stalled and present yourself differently?
The job you have
Let’s kick off with the obvious. The job you are in is the one you have for the moment. Very often demotivated employees takes their foot off the career progression pedal. They check-out and do the bare minimum to coast by. It’s hard to convince any potential hiring manager who is looking for agile and dynamic talent that you will meet their criteria if you are stuck in your current role and above all look and act stuck. Anyone who is looking to boost their career needs to take charge of their personal development. This involves know-how, time and energy. For starters you need to ditch the disengaged employee tag.
How to lose the disengaged employee tag
Create a plan
The first step is to have goals and a strategy. Those who leave things to chance and expect and organization to take care of them are the ones that come unstuck first. Communicate those ambitions to your manager. Do a realistic assessment of your own performance. If anything needs addressing – do just that.
Raise your visibility
It’s important that people know who you are and you are perceived to be pro-active. Instead of whining about lack of opportunities create solutions and make yourself part of that initiative, showcasing how you can add value to the business. Participate in meetings and be willing to take on new challenges.
Up your game
Now is the time to do more, or at least something different, not less. Position yourself for the next role by learning as much about the next steps as possible and the skill set required.
A disengaged employee tends to be stuck in a rut and gets caught up in old and frequently bad habits and work practices. This can be accompanied by a negative attutude. Now is the time to be flexible and be willing to take on continuous learning and personal development, even if it means investing in yourself. You may have been in the same role for years but show you have updated your skills. Add these to your LinkedIn profile so other people can also see what you’ve been up to.
Test the market
A disengaged employee whose career progression has stalled will struggle to present themselves as the right kind of candidate. Make sure you maintain your external networking to stay in touch with developments in your market. You may have set backs but it’s important to build resilience. Stay positive and confident. You might change jobs but if you haven’t looked inwardly to figure out what is holding you back you will merely transport the issues to another location.
Individual barriers and actions are arguably predicated to a large degree on boundaries that are controlled by organizations through their workplace culture and policies and practices (formal and informal).