The Impacts of Unengaged Employees


While there’s no such thing as a “perfect” team, there are indications as to whether you’re on the right track to success or if there are some unengaged employees amongst your group. The job as a leader is to offer support and nurture growth, but we completely understand how difficult it is to do this effectively, when the impacts of these negative employees are significant. We’ve listed some potential outcomes if this issue isn’t appropriately addressed.

What does an engaged workplace look like?

Firstly, when we think of what an engaged team behaves like, there’s a lot of passion, motivation and drive to do well. Team members believe in the organisation’s mission, and are meeting the expectations set within their role description. There’s no lack of communication, and team members are comfortable sharing ideas and opinions whilst in meetings and as they work on projects. You’ll see a lot of innovation, and creativity as employees are actively trying to problem solve and find ways to work better than they did the day before.

Put simply, an engaged group of employees are inspired by the work they do and are constantly moving forward. If you’re unsure whether this is something that’s actually happening, or if this is still a goal of yours to achieve, our team at Pathways Australia strongly suggest conducting an employee engagement and satisfaction survey.

What does an unengaged workplace look like?

Expect less productivity in the office

The biggest impact someone who isn’t engaged has on your organisation and your team is the drop in productivity. This is a big issue for a few reasons, including: they won’t get the required work completed on time (or worse it’s not done at all), small tasks take much longer than necessary, they can cause major distractions for everyone else around them and don’t even think about expecting any initiatives either. When we’re talking about productivity, you should also keep in mind the resources needed to fuel it, and what is wasted on an unengaged employee – time, money, office equipment, and other human resources to fix this problem.

The negativity rubs off amongst the team 

It’s not hard to pick up on an unengaged employee, in fact the rest of your team will most likely experience this problem before you do. This type of behaviour usually forms a cloud of negativity amongst the team, and leaves a trail of tension wherever they go – it’s very easy to sense when something feels “off”. Whether your team works directly or indirectly with this unengaged employee, their poor habits and outlook has the potential to rub off on other people if it’s not properly addressed, making it a bigger task to bring positivity and productivity into the environment. Think about it, it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re constantly hearing how boring the work you’re doing is, how uncomfortable the chairs might be, or how difficult someone else is.

There’s a poor communication between your employees
As we’re sure you know already, having a high level of communication amongst the team is crucial to ensure you’re getting the best results, team members feel supported and your organisation is problem solving independently. An unengaged team member will often be silent in meetings, won’t participate in any social activities in or outside of office and they show little interest in getting to know fellow workers. This leads to miscommunication in meetings, project work and can very quickly snowball into larger problems for your customers/clients or organisation. Problem solving is another area that requires teamwork, and clear direction – something that won’t happen if not everyone is eager to perform at their best. Typically the miscommunication happens between those who are engaged and want to succeed, and those who don’t care at all.

At the end of the day, we believe strongly in the power of knowing rather than guessing. Which is why the survey was designed specifically to give you the honest data your organisation needs to create a more engagement environment and to begin taking bigger strides towards your goals.

Our employee engagement survey focuses on all critical areas including, the organisation, leadership, management, communication, remuneration & benefits, quality of work-life and more. All of which will provide you with deep insights into how your team members are feeling and the types of things that might need improvement. We recommend downloading our FAQ brochure to learn more about how we can help minimise the impacts of unengaged employees or contact us to speak with a consultant straight away.