Employer: I’m Just Not That into You

Eye roll for Blog

It’s hard to pinpoint when it happened, but somewhere along the line your once-enthusiastic employee changed.  He started out excited, but one day everything seemed to shift.  The classic title of the 2009 romantic comedy now rings true: he’s just not that into you (or the company).

All companies have employees who seem to have been there “forever.”  Committed, loyal individuals who are bonded to the company, have been there many years, and want to stay long term.

But what about the ones who seem to have one foot out the door?  They have their reasons—maybe they never really got on board with the company’s direction or mission, don’t get along with co-workers, or simply don’t like their jobs.  How can an employer tell who this is, and is there anything that can be done about this kind of attitude?

Body Language and Verbal Negativity

It may be the eye roll across the room, the slouch, the need for constant breaks, or lack of participation in meetings, but an employee who is “not that into their job” will reveal it through their body language.  Nikelle Snader says in a USA Today Money article, “The nonverbal communication you use, even when you’re not aware of it yourself, can serve as major signals to those around you if you’re invested in your work.”

The employee who is not interested in staying in a job long term will show it through both negative body language and verbal negativity.  Their negative comments may be confined to just a small group of coworkers with similar inclinations, or comments here and there might be affecting the attitude of the entire office.

Employee is Not Interested in Learning

Employees who are vested long-term want to learn the ins and outs of the company.  This includes learning company policies, company-specific technologies, best practices and more.  Long-term employees might even keep a folder or notebook of their own learning because they see themselves needing this information in the future.  An employee who is “just not that into their job” will not go above and beyond.

Employee Does Not Develop Strong Co-Worker Ties

An employee who does not want to stay in a position long term will not develop deep bonds with fellow employees. Interestingly, the lack of true connection at work could in fact be the cause of the disinterest in the position.  Perhaps he only connects with others who also do not want to stay or he doesn’t want to connect because he may be leaving soon.

Address the Situation

So, what should a manager do about this type of employee? Experts say to address the situation.  “Deadbeat employees run all over their coworkers as they complain, gossip, and criticize,” says Susan Heathfield (thebalancecareers.com). “Whatever form of behavior your deadbeat employee exhibits, it won’t go away without your intervention.”  Heathfield recommends trying to discover the source of the employee’s unhappiness.  If not addressed, it can cause a manager to lose the respect of other employees.

Sometimes a few simple steps by an employer will go a long way to help an employee with short-term staying power.  In an article called “How to Keep Your Employees Engaged Long Term,” Workpop recommends the following:

  • HR managers create a working definition of employee engagement
  • Companies provide opportunities for education and growth
  • Managers encourage self-efficacy (your belief in your ability to handle situations) through recognition
  • Companies build engagement from the beginning

Like any relationship, an employee/employer relationship goes two ways. Depending on the cause of the behavior, it is up to an employer to address concerns or encourage the employee to move on.

It’s not fair to either side to be “just not that into it.”  If you find yourself feeling this way about your job, Artemis Consultants can help.  If you are an employer who needs advice in generating employee engagement, Artemis has the resources to assist.

At the time of hire, we pride ourselves on asking both employers and prospective employees the tough questions which support a solid long term fit.  Please visit Artemis Consultants for a full list of services.

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