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Romancing the Disengaged at Work and in Love

Posted by Insightlink on 08/15/16

Romantic relationships and employee engagement have more in common than you might think.

Much of what sustains a couple in a happy long term marriage and relationship are the same qualities needed to have a healthy engaged team at work. In both cases we are dealing with people and their relationships. Couples who wed draw many others into their circle such as children, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends. Our work places bring together people from an even wider circle. They are all just people and like all of us, they  crave relational success, financial success, and healthy connections (Brene Brown has proven we humans are all hardwired for connection). We all want commitment, a sense of belonging, recognition, and to be valued. We want our partners to love us, while we want our co-workers and managers to respect and value us.

As in all healthy relationships there are deal breakers though. With our partners and our co-workers we need to have a clear understanding of what we expect from each other and what behaviors are unacceptable. Deal breakers can wreck a working relationship just as they can destroy a romantic relationship. We all know someone whose partner turned ugly and the same thing can happen at work.

Disconnecting partners and co-workers resemble each other in many similar ways:

  • Always complaining about problems and never solution-focused
  • An overall negative attitude
  • Makes excuses instead of taking ownership
  • Has no enthusiasm
  • Doesn’t help others
  • Operates independently and doesn’t want to be part of the team
  • Lies, deceives, distorts and omits
  • Is a know-it-all and is unable to hear others’ ideas, opinions or feedback
  • Is irresponsible and avoids accountability
  • Lacks initiative
  • Doesn’t ask questions and makes assumptions
  • Is easily distracted
  • Doesn’t know what their role is and responsibilities are
  • Poor or no communication
  • Avoids conflict

Couples can seek help from a therapist to understand and overcome their problems but organizations don’t have this option. However there is another solution. They can seek to understand the relationships their employees have with each other, with their supervisors and with the organization they work for by asking them for their opinions.

We recommend using a survey that confidentially aims to uncover the barriers, the issues and the source of discontent. When an organization hires a third party employee survey company, it’s kind of like hiring a therapist. Someone who can ask the right questions, analyze the results with an open and trained mind, and can confidently show you what’s wrong and more importantly how to fix the problems.

Healthy relationships are a worthwhile and achievable goal. Sometimes, even in our personal lives, we need some outside advice. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is actually a sign of courage. It shows you care and are willing to risk uncertainty to determine what the problems are so you can fix them. Doing nothing is akin to denial which will only makes things worse…ignore your car and you will eventually break down, ignore the problems facing your employees and they will disengage. The best news is that  cars can be fixed and disengaged employees can be re-engaged!

To help you ask the right questions and get the insights and answers that will make a difference give us a call at 1-866-802-8095 and ask for Lynn at ext. 705, write for more information or visit our website at We hope you will get in touch.

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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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