How to Handle “Radioactive” Employees

October 29, 2015
| ByMike Ryan

With Halloween just around the corner it’s time to take stock in what’s really scary. Ghosts and goblins? Not so much. Actively disengaged employees on the other hand? Yikes!

When we talk about employee engagement, we usually focus on the positive side of the scenario: increased productivity, reduced attrition and better outcomes across the business. We generally don’t consider the more frightening scenario—employees who are so disengaged that they scare everyone they come into contact with.

“Actively” disengaged employees are just that—active. They announce to everyone how miserable they are. They talk negatively about your company and criticize your leaders and processes.

And since misery loves company—they actively solicit support for their feelings. By complaining openly and constantly they are trying to “sell” others on how bad things are. They are always on the air broadcasting their bad attitudes.

Maybe we should call them “radioactive” disengaged employees?

It’s not safe to handle anything that’s radioactive. So how do you get a handle on this group? You start by understanding them. Fundamentally, actively disengaged employees don’t feel connected to the company or what it’s trying to accomplish. They don’t feel part of your organization.

You can change that by recognizing them when they do contribute something positive. When they begin to see themselves as part of the answer, they won’t see everyone else as the problem. You might even find they become more “active’ in supporting the company because now they feel like a vital part of it.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Recent Posts