Stop staff disengagement

| October 2, 2012


It’s important not to overpromise when you are hiring new staff as it can quickly lead to disappointment. Shivani Gupta shares her thoughts on preventing staff disengagement.

I don’t need to point out to you the obvious costs to your business of having disengaged staff.

Interestingly, research shows that 68 per cent of employee disengagement occurs in the first 12 months.

One of the key reasons for this is overpromising when recruiting. The desire to attract good talent and to put our company’s best foot forward, means we sometimes make a role out to be more challenging, exciting or less menial than it is. (So your new staff member is left feeling a bit like they would on a bad first date. After all the excitement and intrigue, the person is not quite who they imagined and the date is a fizzer.)

When you are recruiting someone, you want a long term relationship, not a date. That’s why it is important to also hire people that are passionate about your work. They also need to fit your organisation’s culture or, if the person is being hired to help transform the culture, be able to work within it.

Rightly or wrongly, but understandably, in some cases new people don’t get buy in from their peers. As a leader you must monitor this and show your own support. “Let’s hear Mary out on that idea or That’s a fabulous idea, there are a couple of issues we’ll need to consider but it’s the type of thinking we are all looking for at ABC Company.”

If you are bringing in new people, you need to make sure that problem staff don’t overwhelm or undermine them, and bring other good staff along who are naturally fearful of change. My point is that just bringing in some new talent isn’t the silver bullet for organisational change. They need a change management framework to operate within.  

My tips for stopping staff disengagement

1. Be honest when recruiting

2. Look for a cultural fit

3. Support new recruits

4. Have good change management processes in place.

Shivani Gupta is CEO of leadership coaching firm Passionate People