5 Ways to Leverage a Disengaged Employee

I’ve written before how disengaged employees can actually be leveraged to create a strong culture, which leads to success. Now I am going to share with you a few ways to do that.


#1: Allow 30-Minute Naps


More and more companies like Google, Zappos, and Ben & Jerry’s are starting to offer on-the-job sleep options for employees. By following their lead, you can help your employees “disengage” from tasks by taking a 30-minute nap to allow memory consolidation (i.e. information they’ve learned to be processed). Other benefits of napping include:


  • Productivity
  • Cognitive Function
  • Memory
  • Creativity
  • Feeling Less tired


A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%. Napping is also endorsed by Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot:


“…we have a nap room at HubSpot. I have this new initiative in my life, and I’m trying to push my colleagues to do it, too, where I want to work less and think more… [Good ideas] inevitably happen when I’m either falling into a nap, or coming out of a nap, or waking up slowly on a Saturday morning. I’m trying to engineer more of those in my life.”


Napping is beginning to pick up so much popularity that there are even Nap Salons in Japan for the purpose of employees having a place to go in the middle of the day to recharge.


However, there are negative stigmas associated with napping. Often napping indicates laziness, a lack of ambition, and low standards. There is condescension associated with napping as it is often viewed as something only children, the sick, and the elderly do.


Don’t let the negative stigmas stop your opportunity to turn a disengaged employee into a rested, productive member of the team.


#2: Introspection


By helping your employees practice introspection, you are empowering them to be the best versions of themselves. Through introspection, employees can also reflect on negative patterns, which will give them the opportunity to find solutions. They keep focused on the bigger picture and are often correlated with exerting a self-starter attitude in their workplace.


Not only is it great to help develop your employees, but it also will positively affect your bottom line.


#3: Encourage Learning and Exploration of Interest


By building up your employees, you build up your company. Give them the ability to learn by providing ways for them to explore topics they’re interested in (even if it doesn’t relate to their current projects). You never know when that knowledge will solve a problem in the future. Probably the most famous example of this is Googles “20% time,” which allowed employees to take one day a week to work on side projects. Huge products that came out of this philosophy include the development of Google News, Gmail, and even AdSense.


Second, encourage your employees to learn about who you are as a company. By inspiring your employees to explore and discuss your company’s history, values, mission, they better understand your vision.


#4: Join a Committee or Club at the Office


Give your employees permission to use their passions to better the office community. It can be anything from educational to fun. For example, at Novareté we have a “Lunchtime Board Gamers” group that takes time during lunches to play fun games. This helps build office relationships and comradery. I’ve started a self-growth book club where we meet once a week to discuss how to implement what we’ve learned about leadership, success, and a healthy lifestyle. We are able to apply what we read every day at work, making ourselves and our company better. Maybe you love planning events. Put that passion into helping create a community service day or the holiday party.


Building a strong community culture will help you increase the company’s performance. Why not help engage those distracted by getting them excited about how to share their passions with the company.


#5: Promote Community Outreach and Service


Your employees can make the world a better place by getting involved in a nonprofit of their choice and volunteering. Allow them to take some time off from work to volunteer their time to help others. It will help your employees feel valued because you are encouraging their passions. Not only is it a great cause, but it will boost your bottom line while increasing your company’s brand.


What are some ways you maximize disengagement? Let me know in the comments below.