I quit! But stayed: A dangerous place for a leader

There is a dangerous place for a leader to find him or herself in as a leader of people.

Unfortunately, I talk to leaders who are in this place a lot more lately as the job market heats up and organization shift. I’ve been in this situation myself while leading large organizations and it’s one of the toughest things to notice and solve.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the team is, this is a significant risk and can greatly impact the influence and effectiveness a leader can have within an organization.

That dangerous place to be is when you have people on your team who “quit, but stay” and the forget to tell you about it.

These are the team members that have “checked out” for some reason, Maybe there are things going on outside of work or things going on inside the walls of work, but there is something that is contributing to them “checking out” or having a “just coming in to get a paycheck” approach to work.

This is the worst place to be in as a leader. It would be better if they would choose to exit the team or company, but they are covert in their disengagement and directly impacting the productivity of the team. This is very costly for a business and has a direct impact on the bottom line.

Do you think any of the following statistics indicate a growing problem in employee engagement:

•73 percent of workers say their organizations’ strategies and goals are not translated into specific work tasks they can execute.

•70 percent of workers do not know what to do to support their organizations’ strategies and goals.

•81 percent of workers do not feel a strong level of commitment to their organizations’ strategies.

When these stats reflect our organizations we will almost certainly have challenges with team members engaging and attrition.

So, what can you do about it? Here are a few things I’ve learned when faced with the challenge of having employees “quit, but stay’:

Communicate a clear vision and strategy: Do this for your team even if this is lacking at a corporate level. Take time to make sure your team knows why they are doing what you are asking them to do.

•Help individual team member understand how they fit into the bigger picture: Spend time helping your team connect the dots. That’s one of the main jobs of a leader.

•Spend one on one time with each team member monthly: If you don’t ask how your team members are doing then you won’t be able to pick up on the signs they are becoming disengaged.

•Be clear on performance expectations: Spend time with each team member making sure they understand what you expect of them. These measurements will help you notice when performance slips below your expectations.

•Help those who “quit, but stay” find something new: This is a tough one, but sometimes you have to help those who no longer engage find something new. This could be within your organization or outside your organization. This is a tough decision, but this these types of decisions are what separate great companies from mediocre companies.

Discussion Question: How do you address employee engagement in your organization?

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