A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on the angry employee in the workplace. Taking that further, a commenter asked for tips on how to deal with the apathetic employee.
It’s a tricky one, because like most of people related issues in the workplace (and arguably life), there are two sides to the story.
However, bearing in mind that there will always be those employees who are neither actively disengaged nor actively engaged, there are most certainly things an employer can do ..
Consider the following 6 C’s:
Clarity – does the employee know what they are meant to be doing, why they are doing and how it links with the wider organisational purpose?
Capability – does the employee have the tools (intellectual, experience and physical) to actually perform the role?
Challenge – is there appropriate stretch and challenge in the role (or too much – see capability).
Culture – is there a good fit between the organisations’ inherent values and those of the employee’s?
Contribution – is the employee’s contribution being recognised; and appropriate feedback provided (and recognition / reward if appropriate)?
Circumstances – Possibly the most important (and the most difficult to decipher from an employer’s perspective) is what is the employee’s motivation for work, for the role etc. Sometimes, the apathy is not work related at all, but, life, more generally.
The other side of the coin is the employee – and there’s a pretty simple way to sum this up. Either kick the chair, do something about it and then move on .. Or truly move on – to another employer where there might be a better fit.
How have you dealt with apathy in the workplace? Is it something that has changed as times have got tougher?