Schedule a Free Consultation

You Can’t Fly a Desk to Better Performance

Is your team 1% or 40% disengaged?

You Can’t Fly a Desk to Better Performance

By: Ross Paterson

If you see a team that is very dysfunctional, chances are the leaders are not engaged with the team, at all. Leaders make the mistake of getting trapped in an office, enslaving themselves to technology and the ‘numbers.’ Sending one more email, instead of getting out and connecting with their team. The cost is high, one negative, actively disengaged team member will drag a lot of people down with them.

I have studied Simon Sinek’s book, Leaders Eat Last with many of our clients. Take a close look at these statistics he quotes from the Gallup Poll, State of the American Workplace 2013.

“When our leaders completely ignore us (the team), 40% of us become actively disengaged at work.

When our leaders criticize us, 22% of us become actively disengaged at work.

When our leaders recognize just one of our strengths and reward us for doing what we are good at, 1% of us are actively disengaged at work.”

Actively Disengaged = unhappy and unproductive at work, liable to spread negativity to coworkers.

Actively disengaged can easily be reduced by half, and all you have to do is criticize everyone. Isn’t that a mind-blowing statistic? We have seen this idea before where employees prefer a critical demanding boss even over one that is nice, but not demanding. Negative attention is better than no attention, humans act like whipped dogs who keep coming back to their owners.

But if you are going to get out of your office and out from behind the computer, why spend time criticizing people? It takes only a little more time and effort to recognize strengths, and reward people for doing good work. Read less minds, ask more questions, and listen. Every time leaders are visible and empathetically engaged with the people, we are communicating that the team is important. Imagine the productivity, quality, and efficiency we can achieve when the team’s actively disengaged number is at 1% instead of 40%.

And now the two tough leader questions:

  • Who works on this when you don’t?
  • Why don’t you have time to work on this?