5 Ways Good Managers Prevent Employee Check-out

Experienced managers know what to look for in a poor employee or one who may be looking for a new job — showing up late, not meeting deadlines, a poor attitude, wasting time. But what about those who have mentally checked out but choose to stay? They may not be as easy to spot and are often not true problem employees. Since these employees have chosen to stay, their negative behaviors tend to be less obvious, but you can learn how to spot them and bring them back into the company groove.

Characteristics of an Employee Who Has Checked Out

Employees who have mentally checked out of their positions may:
  • Lack energy and enthusiasm
  • Isolate themselves from coworkers
  • Disengage from the office culture as a whole
  • Show a decrease in the quality or quantity of their work

5 Ways to Re-Engage Employees and Prevent Them From Checking Out

1. Regularly measure engagement and satisfaction. Each quarter, check in with your employees specifically to gauge their job satisfaction. Hold one-on-one or small-group meetings or offer an employee survey. Here are some questions to ask:
  • Do you feel valued within the organization?
  • Do you find your work to be meaningful?
  • Do you take pride in your work and feel that you make a difference?
  • Do you have the tools you need to be effective in your position?
  • In one word, how would you describe the company culture?
  • Do you feel connected?
Encourage more than a yes/no answer to get to the root of problems your organization may need to address.
2. Provide regular company updates. Keeping your employees well-informed helps them feel included within the organization. This instills a feeling that they are part of the overall company plan, not simply pawns. Regular updates keep employees motivated and working toward a unified goal.
3. Involve employees in decisions when appropriate. It can be hard to keep your heart in your work when you feel like you have no say in big decisions. While all organizational decisions are not appropriate for the masses, include employees when you can.
4. Practice accountability with managers. Ensure that your managers are connected to their employees and have their fingers on the pulse of their department. Hold them accountable to take action to keep employees engaged and satisfied with their work. Some may need additional training to achieve this. Consider hiring a human resources consulting company to augment their success.
5. Take action with poor employees. Sometimes you do everything you can do to no avail. Some employees will never re-engage, and for the health of the company culture, taking action is necessary. Weed out poor performers to prevent the spread of their negativity and anger from coworkers who are picking up their slack.
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics once remarked, “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”
With a little effort and expertise, it is possible to draw employees back in and increase their job satisfaction. Invest in your people. The Marlo Company is there to help you on your journey.
All Things Writing blogs for The Marlo Company. Contact us for information on our writing and editing services.

Katherine Gotthardt, CEO

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years. For the past ten years, she has focused on content development and content marketing for small to mid-size businesses, writing and disseminating material that increases client visibility while supporting their brand. Besides being published in dozens of journals, Katherine has authored five books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water and Bury Me Under a Lilac. Learn more about her creative life at www.KatherineGotthardt.com.