Last Updated On July 03, 2019 / Written By John Adebimitan

What to Do About Disgruntled Employees and Employee Disengagement

A high number of employees are becoming disengaged, which is unfortunate as labor costs are a large portion of business expenses. If your employees aren’t emotionally invested in your vision, how can you build a team of actively engaged employees?

So you have different types of employees working in your restaurant. Some are psychological “owners” of the business, and they go above and beyond to ensure that things work fine. Those are the ones you can leave your restaurant to and not lose even one customer.

As cool as it is to have the type of employee mentioned above, it isn’t always the case. In fact, some employees are so bad that not only do they not like the idea of working with you, they’re either actively working to undermine your authority, or they’re saying bad things about your business, these disgruntled employees are called “disengaged” employees.

According to a Gallup poll, only 33% of workers in the United States are actively engaged in their jobs. Based off of this figure, we can say that a whopping 51% of employees are disengaged, which then leaves us with 16% of employees who are not actively engaged. As such, this leads us to conclude that it is pretty easy to fall into the trap of hiring an employee who is, or who will later become disengaged.

What Is Employee Disengagement? How to Spot a Disgruntled Employee

An engaged employee, according to Gallup, is highly involved in and enthusiastic about work. They are also the types that drive performance and who move the organization forward.

Employees who are not engaged are detached from work because their expectations are sometimes not met. So they come to work, do what they have to do and put in the required time, but they are neither passionate nor emotionally invested in the job.

The company also talked about the last group, the “actively disengaged.” This group is often made up of employees who aren’t invested in their jobs but also those who are resentful that some needs are not met. So, for example, if an employee doesn’t come to work for the sake of it, they are actively trying to bring your restaurant down, though mostly subtly.

So we have a pretty good idea of who a disengaged employee is.

First, a disengaged employee brings no value to the table. Second, they don’t contribute to the success, or to the progress of the business, and third, they say negative things about your restaurant, sometimes in front of your customers, trying to bring the business to its knees.

So you lose on so many fronts. You are paying a chef who cooks poorly because of some unfulfilled expectations. He then speaks ill of you to other employees, and some of the other employees start becoming disengaged, leading to more loss. Plus, their attitude towards work and customers leads to reduced patronage to your restaurant, even more losses.

Quantifying the Cost of Employee Disengagement, What It Costs You

When employees lose the motivation to bring their best to the table, it results in unbelievable losses. It’s estimated that nearly 70% of all U.S. workers don’t like their jobs and that actively disengaged employees cost the United States from $481 billion to $605 billion every year in lost productivity. To make matters worse, a 2% drop in the global engagement trend, from 65% in 2015 to 63% in 2016, shows that employee disengagement is getting worse.

So, what could you do to either eliminate or reduce actively disengaged employees? It’s simple, communication.

Communication Is the Solution to Disgruntled and Disengaged Employees

The best way to shift things, from being actively disengaged to actively engaged is communication. Better schedule communication.

Over 58.7% of workers in the United States are hourly employees, so the discussion often involves them. For any business that hires hourly employees, especially the restaurant and hospitality industry, how each hour is spent, and on what is of prime importance.

Having a working, well-thought-out schedule involves considering each hourly employee. No one wants to feel like they don’t have a life outside of work; so, your schedule should reflect an understanding that your employees have a private life, and that you respect that time.

When you have a great communication strategy in place, including a working employee work schedule, your employees often feel more involved. They feel appreciated, and they are committed to the job.

Improving employee engagement has a real impact on the future of your business. Don’t ignore this truth. Respect your employee’s communication preferences, have working and well-communicated schedules. Remember, higher employee engagement translates to higher productivity, happier employees, and higher profits.

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