Are You Disengaged If You Don't Participate?

Table of contents

Everyone notices the employees that opt out of certain company events orchestrated by the office “fun committees.” Does this mean these employees are not fully engaged in their jobs?

It could be argued both ways, so let’s say we have reached a grey area. There could be a simple reason as to why they are not participating, Introverted? Religion? Doesn’t Drink? Self-Conscious? The list is endless.

Not everyone can be as perky and outgoing as fun committees are; they are a special kind of human being.

What is employee engagement?

BUT employee engagement is not just about fun; it is also about getting employees to increase their commitment, productivity, and effort on behalf of their employers, creating the feeling that they have a stake in the company rather than just being a means to raise the bottom line. Employee Engagement has many elements, so let’s not go eliminating the fun committee. Those pesky, perky fun committees may be infuriating at times, but they provide employees a chance to de-stress, socialize with co-workers and management, and to put it plainly, feel human. Fun is only one miniscule part of a large equation; so how about the employees who don’t join in…engaged or not engaged, that is the question. According to Gallup, there are 3 levels of engagement in employees:

  1. Engaged Employees: Have a strong commitment to the company and want to move the organisation in the right direction
  2. Disengaged Employees: Lack passion and neglect putting energy into their work. They just dont care if the company succeeds or fails.
  3. Actively Disengaged Employees: Completely detached from workplace goals and publicly vocalize their dissatisfaction in the office.

In which category do the non-participants fall under? They fall, I believe, between the cracks of Engaged Employees and Disengaged Employees; let’s call it selective engaging, the employee who is choosing to engage when the event is either convenient or within their comfort zone. As previously stated, not every employee can or wants to participate to the full extent in extracurricular events like company pools and/or company outings; however that doesn’t mean they are actively disengaged. These employees may buy in to company culture through their work, but are simply disinterested in the interactive aspect of employee engagement. I am not suggesting that it is acceptable to retreat from all planned events; as employee engagement is buying into company culture and values, which inherently includes interacting with co-workers as well.

Professionals holding reports and discussing their findings

So how do you increase engagement with some fun for all?

Statistically speaking, according to Gallup, 87 percent of Workers worldwide are “actively disengaged” or “not engaged” in their jobs, meaning only 13 percent of workers worldwide are engaged at work. How does one create the feeling of belonging, the will to be engaged and to perform on behalf of the employer, for those employees who are selectively engaging and even actively disengaging?

This predicament is where Social Recognition Programmes become helpful, our research shows that 75% of employees identified this lack of appreciation as their main concern. It is a fun and proven-effective way that can increases the percentage of engaged employees by allowing interaction, recognition, and communication within all levels of one’s company, in addition to increasing great work through transparency, sharing insight across borders, building trust with employees, and generating better, and faster, feedback. Here, those who choose to opt out of the “fun committee events” can join in without having to participate in person.

Companies who have implemented a recognition programme, on average, saw a 14% higher productivity rate than organisations without an implemented recognition strategy. Social Recognition Programmes boost morale, improve engagement, increase business success, and, most importantly, get all employees engaged in a fun, social manner, no matter their personality or comfort zone. Fully re-engage those employees who opt out of company parties and events and eliminate the grey area—Get full buy in to the company’s values and desired culture.