Engagement Levels

The term “employee engagement” refers to an employee’s level of psychological and emotional commitment to his/her organization, job, team, supervisor and customers. Based on the engagement scores of individual team members, you may categorize your entire team as follows:

Actively Disengaged – Not only are your team members ineffectual, they actively seek to undermine the goals of the team. As a team, their work performance and quality is likely unacceptable. They care little about meeting goals or the impact of failing do so on others, including customers. It is critical that you immediately understand and address the issues that have brought your team to this point. In order to have any realistic hope of turning this team around, it is likely that you will have to immediately terminate some employees.

Disengaged – Although such a team does not purposely sabotage or undermine team goals, their work output and quality is significantly subpar. Such employees are unlikely to take pride in their work and have little sense of investment or commitment to their team or organization. Team members would be best categorized as apathetic. It may be that you have a few team members that have had a toxic influence on the rest of the team. Such employees should be put on a “final” performance plan and terminated if they do not significant improvement within 30 days.

Opportunistic – Team members in this category are motivated and show discretionary effort when there is something in it for them. They need be shown the proverbial “dangling carrot” before they are willing to put forward their best effort. When might describe the overall team as “lazy.” The employees likely take little pride in their work and feel only a small sense of commitment or loyalty to the team organization. No work group effort achieved great success with such a team. Focus on recognizing and acknowledging those who show initiative and hold them up as an example of what you expect from all team members.

Engaged – Engaged team members are consistent contributors who do their job and do it well. When asked to help out another or give extra effort, they are perfectly willing to do so but they make take initiative on their own. They believe in the organization and want to do their part to help it to succeed. Let the team know how much you believe in them and challenge team members to increase their level of achievement in a one specific area. Be very aware of opportunities to recognize employees who show initiative.

Actively Engaged – These teams are composed of intrinsically motivated employees who fully support the Vision and Mission of the organization. Actively engaged employees are proactive and look for opportunities to improve processes and output. They take high levels of initiative and regularly share their suggestions and ideas for improvement. As a leader of such a group you should be focused on providing team members with challenges commensurate with their skills and ambitions, and make sure that they have the resources and training they need to be successful.