Why Employee Disengagement Is Dangerous and How to Fix It

Employees are disengaging at an alarmingly high rate. What causes it, and how can we fix it?

Why Employee Disengagement Is Dangerous and How to Fix It

Engagement Rate

Engaged employees are those who are committed to their jobs and passionate about what they do. Only a third of employees are engaged at work according to data from Gallup taken in 2018.

Over 50% of employees are reportedly "not engaged" during the workday. These are employees who do not have a strong desire to contribute to the best of their ability. While they may be generally satisfied with their working environment, they tend to contribute the bare minimum. Additionally, they are at risk of switching companies when given the opportunity.

Perhaps even more concerning are the 13% of actively disengaged employees. These employees have "miserable work experiences" and become "checked out" at work. They harm the overall workplace culture and sabotage the company by draining resources.

While the level of disengaged employees will never reach zero, there are measures companies can take to improve their engagement levels. These can make a lasting impact on the growth of a company both socially and financially.

Impact of Disengagement

Actively disengaged employees are more likely to struggle with health issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, complacency, substance abuse, workplace violence, and negligence. In an article from SCI, they state that “disengagement is a serious health, wellness, and safety issue for organizations."

Low engagement levels can also mean losing talented team members. Actively disengaged employees do not have a strong investment in the company and are at a higher risk for leaving to work for a competitor. According to GuideSpark, 73% of actively disengaged employees search for new jobs or opportunities.  

Additionally, engagement levels affect productivity. Those who feel more valued and connected to the company have more incentive to work harder. GuideSpark found that by increasing their investment in employee engagement by just 10%, companies could expect an annual increased profit yield of $2,400 per employee.

Taking the time to strengthen engagement levels can enhance productivity levels, improve loyalty to the company, yield a greater annual profit, and provide long-term health benefits to employees.


The first step in improving company culture is listening to feedback and working with employees to make meaningful change. One of the essential factors in developing a positive company culture is ensuring that employees feel valued. See this post for a detailed breakdown of steps to take to improve your engagement rate.

It is essential to prioritize changes that provide a sustainable solution. Many companies attempt to fix low engagement levels with the "bandaid solution" of money incentives. Money causes a spike in employee satisfaction levels, followed by a significantly steeper decline. This post shows a fascinating study about which rewards lead to sustainable improvements in engagement and satisfaction levels.

Try out the Disco app, which integrates into Slack and Microsoft teams. It provides features designed to improve engagement and culture. It enables employers and employees to recognize others' hard work, and ensures that team members feel valued. It provides an anonymous pulse survey tool to measure satisfaction levels quickly and accurately. Its built-in raffle feature incentivizes giving "kudos" to peers and offers non-monetary prize options. Click here to learn more!