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  • Lisa Frank

Disengaged Employees: Is It THEM or Is It YOU?

Updated: Jan 3, 2023


“Employee Engagement” – the new buzz-term popping up in HR departments, business journals, and company meetings everywhere as companies are scrambling to retain their talent in this new candidate-driven market.

According to a recent study by Saba and, one-third of the US workforce will make a job change within the next six months. For the first time in years, employees are choosing to leave jobs for something “better.” And, in conference rooms from coast-to-coast, executives are scratching their heads to make sense of the attrition – often rationalizing it by pointing fingers at “entitled millennials,” employees who ask for “too much,” or those who “weren’t bringing that much value, anyway.”

But, are those really the reasons? Is it them or could it be you? Are you really giving your employees what they need to stay engaged?

As an executive recruitment partner and career coach, I hear from top talent every day. The people who deliver, produce and contribute to your bottom line. The people with great passion – who align with and exemplify the ideals, goals and enthusiasm that your company was built upon. The loyal, committed, driven, successful employees who don’t feel valued, fully utilized, noticed, or rewarded for their hard work. The people you will be sorry to lose.

Companies have put so much emphasis on “culture” as a way to attract and retain talent. But, are those free lunches, game rooms, beanbags, gym memberships and happy hours enough to keep employees engaged in your business in the long-term? Evidently, not. According to the same aforementioned study, “Forty-one percent of employees said they would leave their company for better career options – with a sizable amount of those polled (31%) stating that background, skills and talents were not being recognized.”

So, what can you do to reengage your employees before it’s too late? Put the fancy strategies and complex, never-been done before initiatives to the side for a minute and let’s get back to basics:

  • Mentor: Make real time for feedback, coaching and career-pathing

  • Listen: Your employees’ insights, thoughts, and opinions can be very valuable to the business. Create a platform for productive dialogue, and pay attention to what they have to say.

  • Inspire: A company is a community with core values and a mission that your employees signed up to be a part of. You are all in it together. Ensure that the heart of your business is reflected in and woven into the fabric of work you do and the culture you do it in – both inside and outside the office.

  • Invest: Encourage professional development initiatives, offer internal growth opportunities, and promote from within.

  • Reward: Give praises, raises, bonuses and other unique benefits/perks to those who earn them.

Frankly Speaking: Every job is re-fillable, but not every person is replaceable. Your talent is the lifeblood of your organization. You put so much time and effort into recruiting the crème de la crème, now it’s up to you to give them a reason to stay. Be a leader. Take care of the people who believed enough in you to be part of your mission. Mentor, Listen, Inspire, Invest and Reward. Imagine the things that your business can achieve with an inspired, challenged, and engaged team of professionals working alongside you.

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