Advice on Dealing with a Disengaged Employee

tired womanHave you ever encountered an employee who appears to have quit but still shows up to work everyday?

Well, Madeleine Homan-Blanchard, Coaching and Neuroscience expert, offers the following advice on how to handle such a situation:

I think the only thing to do in this situation is to have a serious sit-down with your disengaged team member. First, put the facts as you see them on the table and let [them] know you’re looking for a substantial change in attitude and behavior. Be prepared with:

  • A clear vision of what it would look like if [they] were to “come out of retirement”—a picture of a job well done.
  • Concrete observations of how [their] disengagement is affecting both the team and the results the team is trying to achieve.
  • Clear requests for the changes you want to see, with a timeline. This is a critical piece—there has to be a deadline.
  • Unambiguous consequences—what will happen if you see no change?

forced work man laptop

Even though you may feel compelled to yell or otherwise make it clear that you demand immediate results (pictured above), refer to this detailed white paper from Ken Blanchard Coaching Services on how to have Challenging Conversations: Challenging Conversations–Strategies for Turning Conflict into Creativity.

smiling woman

Madeleine also reminds us that, “all the latest research about motivation makes it clear that people can choose to be more engaged—it is an internal proposition. Blanchard’s research into Optimal Motivation focuses on three key psychological needs all people have—needs for Autonomy, Relatedness, and Competence.”

young woman

Read the rest of Madeleine’s article here.  You can also submit management questions that she may respond to the following week as part of her Ask Madeleine series.

Happy Leading,



Categories: Coaching, Leadership, Life Experience, Professional Development

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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