On Monday morning, an employee unwillingly trudges into work with a glazed look over their eyes. It’s evident that this employee has been working in this office for quite some time and the age of their slouched posture is starting to show. As time goes on, you can see that this employee starts to miss their business targets, they spend too much time on their phone, and they are easily distracted by anyone and anything.

angry employee

Do any of these signs sound familiar? This is an extreme case of employee disengagement, but we’ve all encountered someone – or even ourselves, being disengaged at work. The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is roughly two-to-one, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. Only 30% of the entire workforce is considered truly engaged in their work. That’s a scary statistic and a very small percentage of the population, isn’t it? But how do we change that?

Don’t brush off these signs of a disengaged worker. Instead, you should seek to re-engage the disengaged. Here are 3 easy ways to steer disengaged employees back on track:

1. Make the employee experience relevant

Workplaces are becoming increasingly multi-generational, which means that you have workers who range from Gen X all the way to the new millennials, so workplaces need to accommodate for these different styles. As Gen Y and millennials begin to take over the workplace, there’s a shift to working in a technology-dependent office. Millennial employees are digital natives and are no stranger to working with technology – so embrace it! Don’t be stuck in the past with paper and pen. If you aren’t using some sort of online social collaboration tool or intranet to enhance your employee experience, you’re falling behind with the times.

2. Find ways to reconnect

Employees who have disengaged have disengaged for a reason, whether it was a conscious decision or not. It could have been for any reason ranging from personal problems to feeling lost in the company because clear communication hasn’t been established. Lack of praise and recognition has been cited as a top reason why employees are unhappy at their jobs. The approach to these problems should be trying to figure out what you and them can do to help, rather than telling them what they should fix. Simply asking them the question may open up the lines of communication, which, in turn, will benefit both parties greatly. This is your chance to rethink how you give feedback to your staff, both positive and negative. And this is also a chance to reacquaint yourself with what your employees actually do, since you might not understand them as well as you think. Discussion forums are a great place to reconnect with your employees and to really listen to what they have to say. It provides an environment where they are able to post comments and questions if they’re afraid of asking you face-to-face. You’ll soon find that there are issues that you didn’t even realize were problems!

3. Aid employees in leveling up

One of the most common reasons for employees to become disengaged is not understanding the bigger picture of the company. This includes understanding how their role plays a part in the success of the company, understanding what the company stands for, and understanding the products that their work is contributing towards. Fortunately, with the technology available today, you can create an eLearning strategy to specifically fill knowledge gaps and deliver it in a way that can re-engage your employees. eLearning is a great way to provide your employees with knowledge as well as keep them consistently updated with things that are going on in the company. This creates a sense of mutual understanding between the employee and the company so that everyone can understand the bigger picture. Help your employees go from level 0 to 100 quick with an eLearning strategy! You can learn more here.

In the end, it’s the little things that matter the most to employees. Create an environment that fosters learning, open communication, and mutual understanding. It takes time to re-engage a disengaged employee, but it’s not all impossible. There are some problems that you can’t control, but you can control how you approach these problems and it starts with re-engaging with your employees.