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October 20th, 2017
Are You a Workplace Zombie? 12 Ways You Demonstrate Disengagement at Work (Infographic)

Explore these 12 ways you demonstrate disengagement at work. Are you a workplace Zombie? Find out by exploring this article. If you think you have nothing to do with your level of engagement at work, it’s time to think again. Let’s see the 12 ways you demonstrate disengagement at work.

12 Ways You Demonstrate Disengagement at Work


By Catherine Adenle

Recognise any of the 12 ways you demonstrate disengagement at work? Check the Infographic in this article. Are you a workplace Zombie without realizing it? Believe it or not, you are not in the minority when it comes to disengagement at work.

Unfortunately, an epidemic of employees’ disengagement is raging in most organizations. In the most recent “State of the American Workplace” report, Gallup Research found that 70 per cent of U.S. workers were either not engaged or were actively disengaged at work. However, there are some debates over the validity of this result, but we do know via various research that creating an engaged workplace leads directly to higher brand reputation, productivity, profitability, increased customer ratings, high retention of top talent and reduction in turnover.

There is a growing number of employee engagement surveys and tools out there on the Internet for a reason. However, organizations aren’t usually focusing on what really matters and can deliver lasting results for them. Knowing the basics of how to inspire a workforce and reward their efforts, as well as have a way to measure the results of an organization’s actions, and commit to making engagement continuous and not just a thing they do once a year, but part of who they are as a company is what is required.

Before we discuss the ways you as an employee demonstrate disengagement at work, first let’s highlight how an organization can raise employee engagement to avoid employees demonstrating zombie-like behaviours.

10 ways an organization can raise employee engagement

Companies can raise employees’ engagement by constantly doing these 10 things:

  1. Start at the top – management should “Walk the walk.” Show a top-down commitment to engagement as part of their culture
  2. Define engagement, its purpose and what they need employees to do and how to measure
  3. Be visible. Managers and the C-suite must be accessible and visible around the office. Once in half-decade pop in Townhall meeting isn’t going to cut it
  4. Be transparent. Management transparency has a direct 94 per cent correlation with employee happiness
  5. Trust employees with key tasks. It gives them a sense of deeper investment in the company
  6. Show gratitude to employees. Find a way to always say, “thank you” for executing behaviours that show engagement. Train your managers to say thank you.
  7. Be as authentic as an organization. It goes a long way
  8. Hire carefully, check traits and behaviours before you hire. Some employees are perpetually disengaged. Learn to spot them
  9. Engage from day one when you onboard new employees. Keep the momentum going. Include and get everyone on board your engagement train
  10. Play, have fun, work and volunteer to do great engaging things together

As an employee, while you read these 10 ways an organization can raise employees’ engagement with glee and pleasure, you need to know that you are also responsible for your own engagement at work.  Why? Engaged employees stand out because they’re relatively rare. Gallup finds only 30% of all U.S. employees — and a mere 13% of workers worldwide — are engaged in their jobs.

See 8 Results-Driven Reasons You Need Employee Engagement

You are responsible for your level of engagement too as an employee

You, your organization, leaders, managers, and teams all have a hand in supporting engagement at your workplace. Your own engagement at work is the degree to which you as an employee is involved in and enthusiastic about your work and workplace. Gallup measures this with its Q12 employee engagement survey. The Q12 survey items are written from a first-person perspective — “I know what’s expected of me …” and “I have the materials and equipment I need” This reflects the highly personal nature of engagement to you. Ultimately, the survey reveals whether you as an employee feel that your work meets your emotional needs.

See 11 Proven Ways to Demonstrate Your Value at Work

As an employee, you are a workplace Zombie if you are disengaged and not offering more of your capability and potential at work. If your approach results in you doing the barest minimum of a workday at work, you demonstrate acute disengagement.

Your lack of commitment to your organization’s goals and values demonstrates disengagement. If your motivation to contribute to your organization’s success is simply not there, then, this is a reliable barometer for disengagement.

12 Ways You Demonstrate Disengagement at Work

You demonstrate disengagement at work if:

  1. You are always negative

  2. You demonstrate an ‘I don’t care’ attitude always

  3. You show a lack of interest in everything going on

  4. You constantly surf the Internet for personal things as a devoted online shopper during working hours

  5. You are regularly on your mobile device or on Social Media when you should be working

  6. You indulge in badmouthing the company every opportunity you have

  7. You have mood swings at work as you never want to be there

  8. You do the barest minimum of work to get you by and get paid for

  9. You have increased absences and lateness for no good reasons

  10. You always avoid any type of collaborative work or dialogues with your colleagues and manager

  11. You wouldn’t recommend the company to anyone within and outside your network

  12. You are always on the lookout for another job and ready to jump ship anytime

There is ample evidence to suggest that happy employees produce happy results at work. If you demonstrate disengagement at work, the onus is on you to find out why.

If the cause is your current workplace, then change your employer especially if most of your colleagues are as disengaged as you are. If the problem is you, then find out why and make some changes if you want to keep your job. Being disengaged at work is not good for you or the organization you work for.

See Employees Are Responsible for Their Engagement Too

Infographic: 12 Ways You Demonstrate Disengagement at Work

12 Ways You Demonstrate Disengagement at Work_Infographic

Now that you know the 12 ways you demonstrate disengagement at work, it is important that you also know some of the things that engaged employees do at work. Employees who are engaged at work get up in the morning and think, “I love my job, the company I work for, my team and the value we add to society. I’m going to work and I know what’s expected of me today.” These employees understand their role in an organization and how it contributes to the overall strategy of the company. They are always energized about their work’s purpose and objectives. They always feel part of a team, they are focussed on clear goals and they feel trusted and empowered.

ways employees demonstrate engagement at workNow that you have explored these 12 ways you demonstrate disengagement at work, what can you add or discuss? Let’s hear from you, leave your comments below.


Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.

2 thoughts on “Are You a Workplace Zombie? 12 Ways You Demonstrate Disengagement at Work (Infographic)

  1. Great article. I like how it addresses both employer and employees. Engagement is a major issue in all organizations. How do we get people interested in their organizations’ strategy and how do companies maintain high level of engagement?

    • Thank you for your comment, Jenny. Getting employees interested in your strategy as an organization involves communication, practical exercises regarding how their roles align or help your organization’s strategy. Getting them to see the value they add to the organization through the meaningful and challenging work that they do daily makes them feel like an important member of the organization. Of course, rewarding employees is also a tangible part of this.

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