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Whether you're the type to embrace the crazy costumes and trick-or-treating of Halloween or you prefer to avoid it – one thing is certain: your organisation probably secretly (or not so secretly) contains its own little horrors: disengagement monsters. 

It’s your job as an HR professional to spot the disengagement monsters and make a change before they turn your organisation into a horror show – no matter what time of year it is. The cost of employee engagement vs. return on investment is something to consider, especially when the disengagement monsters are lurking.

Our Australian Talent & Engagement Report found that 36% of Aussie employees frequently feel disconnected from their manager and 29% of employees frequently feel disconnected from their colleagues.

In order to combat disengagement, improve the employee experience and retain top talent, there are four scary disengagement monsters you should watch out for:

 1. The "Ego monster"
 2. The "Gimme monster"
 3. The "Instigator monster"
 4. The "Side Eye monster"


1. The Ego monster

In order to improve the employee experience, you need people who are engaged and who want to drive your mission forward. The first monster to look out for is the “Ego monster.” This monster will prioritise its own needs before the needs of the group. Meaning, they’re not exactly what you’d call a “team player” and they’re definitely not in favour of recognising their peers.

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Get rid of the monster by showing the Ego monster the power of creating a culture of appreciation. Get the Ego monster’s manager on board and empower them to say thank you more often with peer-to-peer eCards on your employee engagement platform so the Ego monster learns how to play nice with others, encourage collaboration and break down silos within the business. In no time, your monster’s ego will be no more!


2. The Gimme monster

The "Gimme monster" is always in search of what other people have and is never satisfied. Instead of being happy for other colleagues receiving the recognition they deserve, this monster looks at recognition as a division instead of a glue that sticks people together. They want all the praise to themselves.

Get rid of the monster by showing the gimme monster that employee recognition isn’t favouritism. Your managers shouldn’t be afraid of giving credit where credit is due. But they have to do it in the right way. Here are four tips for managers to keep in mind to create harmony and alignment, and not friction and resentment.

 1. Set clear expectations for team members
 2. Be consistent and frequent with continuous recognition
 3. Don’t be afraid to recognise people for “doing the job right”
 4. Recognise the action, not just the person
 5. Track participation to spot gaps


3. The Instigator monster

The “Instigator monster” sometimes tries to bring others down and take away the celebrations or moments of recognition that really matter to people. This monster may have been at your company for many years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an engaged employee. In fact, they may facilitate disengagement instead of engagement.

Get rid of the monster by creating a culture of champions – these are a select group of people who are going to inspire and motivate others in your organisation. They consistently bring their best selves to work and want to help your organisation improve business results and stand out as an employer of choice. Unlike the Instigator monsters, your champions will be true advocates for your initiatives.


4. The Side Eye monster 

The "Side Eye monster" is often resistant to change and is sceptical of new initiatives. This monster is not in favour of starting something new without having evidence that it works. For instance, if you’re thinking of putting in place a new employee recognition platform, the Side Eye monster might think:

  • Daily actions aren’t worthy, so they don’t recognise their colleagues
  • Recognition isn’t genuine, so why bother?
  • Recognition doesn’t actually do anything, so what’s the impact?

Get rid of the monster by showing the sceptics that employee recognition works with solid proof. If you’re going to make an effort to design and launch a new program, you want your people to use it right? Prove to the Side Eye monster that your recognition program will have a long-lasting effect on your people and will deliver value to help build a stronger, more resilient and more profitable organisation with engaged employees.

This Halloween, take some time to clear out the cobwebs that have been building up in the dark corners of your employee engagement strategy. As we enter the end of the year, make a conscious effort to set your organisation up for success. What next step will you take towards getting rid of the monsters? 

Hend Dabash

Based in our Melbourne office, Hend spends most of her day speaking to HR professionals, and loves discovering what they are most proud of and how she can add value and help make an impact to the initiatives that are on top of their people priority list. Being human and pushing the boundaries is what she does best, along with sharing how Reward Gateway takes steps to making the world a better place to work.

Employee Engagement Specialist

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