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Employee Engagement: Should We Ban Disengaged Employees?

An Olympic Action – An Organizational Consideration

The Olympics banned a number of female badminton players. One article stated:

The evening session of the tournament descended into chaos on Tuesday, with fans jeering two separate matches as players deliberately missed shots and dumped serves into the net in a race to the bottom, forcing the BWF to mount an investigation. A BWF panel charged the players with “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport” were brought against the players.

Ban disengaged employees? I am not suggesting that we ban all disengaged employees from workplaces as there are many causes for disengagement but it makes me think that we should take decisive action and “ban” employees who deliberately don’t give their best to their work because of self-interest as they fail to consider the impact their poor performance has on their customers, peers, and organization. Even if we work in a disengaging workplace we should be engaging our best efforts to advocate and create change for the better.

What are your thoughts? Is this a crazy idea or something we have neglected in our workplaces? I encourage you to write a comment. To ban or not to ban?


  1. Tracie Labonte says:

    In some ways, we do ban them. Okay, so maybe not really but in small ways we do. We don’t listen to their complaints because they are disengaged; we don’t take their comments into consideration in our planning; we brand them as “negative nellies” and we don’t try to reach them to bring them in.

  2. Tracie:
    Good points her about banning without understanding or connecting. Thank you.

  3. Good point made by Tracie

    I would also question how you determine when an employee is not giving his/her best due to Self Interest. The concept of Self Interest can be very political. For instance is his/her manager is acting on the basis of self interest and the individual in question recognises this and stands against this, the manager would probably describe him or her as acting in self interest.

    Ultimately it’s very subjective. Especially if the organisation does not have clearly defined values and objectives.

  4. I think engaged employees are the result of their managers’ abilities to create an engaging workplace. It’s very important to hire a manager who knows to provide his or her employees with the feedback they need. And above all, it’s essential to show to your employees that their work is meaningful and that it actually has some tangible results. There’s nothing that puts people off more than a dull and steady job. You would be surprised but unhappiness in the workplace where progress means nothing is often connected to health problems. According to various surveys, people with low-paying jobs and with few possibilities to make progress have a higher risk of heart disease than those who feel satisfied in their careers. I just recently read that only a small number of employees are happy with their working environment which results in increasing importance being placed on different wellness programs and even a workplace exercise regimen to increase productivity and develop a more positive attitude.

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