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Causes, Effects, and Ways to Avoid Disengagement in an Organization


By Ryan Rahimly

As leaders, we have all either observed or even participated in some form of disengagement and as we all know, this prevents the development of human capital. Disengagement refers to an individual’s lack of drive and passion to achieve and pursue excellence in their job. They feel as if they are invisible and unacknowledged for any contributions they offer to their organization. This is a huge problem because it can cause social loafing in a department, as well as avoidance styles of problem solving and decision making.

There are five tips that an article suggests in order to prevent this from happening to me in the future, which I will cite below for ease of reference. These strategies are presented as follows:

  • Don't hang out and talk with others who are constantly putting down your organization. Misery loves company. But in this case, all it will do is cause you even more unhappiness and dissatisfaction with your job and the workplace. Disengagement is contagious and spreads uncontrollably like an undetected virus.

  • Don't fail to take responsibility for your own career; it's much easier to sit back and complain that you are stuck in a rut. No one will ever care about your professional and personal development in the same way that you do. You are the only one to gain from continual growth.

  • Don't stay in a job proven to be unchallenging and unrewarding. If you do this for too long you will become numb to the pain that comes with being stuck in place.

  • Don't continue to work for a bad or toxic manager. He will not magically wake up one day and turn into a kind and supportive boss. If you are a target of bullying or other abusive behavior at work, you will not come out a winner at this game. In fact, there are only losers.

  • Don't work for a company whose business practices you can't support. Integrity, ethical practices and trustworthiness are the foundation of a good culture that fosters high engagement. Not having these is a breeding ground for the spread of disengagement.

All of these tips demonstrate potential consequences to individuals who are negative, complacent, unassertive, and lack personal values. A strong understanding of themselves can make all the difference in analyzing a good job fit both before and after the hiring process.

I have personally experienced disengagement through a lab assistant job I had this past summer. Looking at this list, there were a number of these tips being broken, and it definitely resulted in me not wishing to continue working there for much longer as I anticipated school to start. People were always complaining about pay and stagnant movement within the company, and I felt like I was unchallenged and visionless in my position there.

Overall, this article serves as a great reading and complement to put personal experiences into words. As we climb higher into our careers, these suggestions serve to be beneficial in granting the upper hand through the job searching process.

Stay tuned to my future postings on conquering disengagement. Now that we can better understand the issues that our employees may be facing from their point of view, we need to do everything in our power to create engaging atmospheres to encourage and develop our employees.

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