Do you have disengaged team members?

No matter the size of your team, most business experts will tell you that 30% of your team could be disengaged when at work. These disengaged team members will also take up to 80% of your time and energy. 

A disengaged team member can be defined by frequent tardiness or absenteeism, poor attitude, disorganized work habits, lack of adherence to protocols in the office and basically creating “drama” on a daily basis. Whatever the symptoms are in your practice, it is likely making your practice look bad to other team members and patients. 

You will also find that 30% of your team is engaged, meaning they bring enthusiasm to work every day, look for ways to improve the practice and are willing to learn/change. This leaves 40% of your workforce who are there to collect their pay cheque, they arrive to work do their job and nothing more or less, but they don’t cause “drama” in your office.

A great exercise is to take a list of your team members and write beside their names if you feel they are engaged, disengaged or “putting in time”. There are benefits to this, both in helping your disengaged team members and keeping your engaged team members at the top of their game. 

The engaged team members very often get overlooked because they aren’t any “trouble.” This is actually a problem as well, as their efforts and results are overlooked and could leave them feeling under appreciated. This feeling could leave them looking for a new position where they will be seen for all they contribute. 

For your team members who are disengaged or those who are putting in time, you may want to have a quick one on one meeting with them, this wouldn’t be a formal performance review. You may want to ask the following questions and ask them to rate their answers on a scale of one to ten:

  1. How do you feel about the office and team environment?
  2. What parts of your job do you enjoy?
  3. Do you feel frustrated when at work?

After each answer on the one to ten scale, ask next what would take to make their answer a ten. Asking these questions allows you to learn how they think, and it might also provide you with feedback to make your office a better place. 

There is a very high likelihood that you can move some team members from “putting in time” to becoming engaged team members if you put the time into training or changes that they may see that you haven’t thought of yet. Listening to your team suggestions will sometimes provide you with practical changes that can make a difference.

If team members are truly disengaged and you feel that they are dragging you, other team members and the office reputation down then you will need to make some hard decisions. Even in this tight hiring market, planning team changes can be necessary for the survival of all. If you can move a disengaged team member to become a team member “putting in time” even that will make your environment better.

You will be amazed at the difference of how your office runs if you show your engaged team members appreciation, uplift your team members who are “putting in time” and put a full stop to disengaged team members. 

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