“I don’t have anything to add.”

upset boss in meeting


Have you ever led a meeting plagued with radio silence? Maybe an employee said, “I don’t have anything to add.”


Where are your teams’ creative ideas? The inspirational spark that used to drive our employees?


84% of employees are “just coming to work,” according to a recent study.




Last week, our team decided to sit down to discuss why today’s employees are so disengaged.


Here’s what we determined:


  • They’re overwhelmed. When you get bogged down, it’s easy to lose steam and lose sight of the “big picture.” If you’re constantly playing “catch-up,” you’re left with little time to give it your all and enjoy what you’re doing—leading to a negative opinion of work.


  • They feel undervalued. It’s hard to stay engaged when it seems that nobody notices your accomplishments. Your employees might have lost the ability to see how their daily contributions make a difference in the grand scheme of things. They could have trouble aligning themselves with the company’s mission & finding purpose in their role.


  • They’re “out of tune.” Today’s employees are caught in a trend of “avoidance.” Think—how many of your folks are “digital natives” who are so comfortable using technology that they’d rather send an email than meet face-to-face? The more you’re communicating via computer, the less you’re interacting with real people—which leads to isolation and avoidance. When employees isolate, they lose the “human touch” in the workplace, and their engagement declines.


So, how do we turn the tide?


  • Help your employees set goals. By breaking down big projects into smaller, more tangible tasks, your employees will be able to more realistically tackle assignments. Work with your people to develop realistic deadlines—that make sense to them.


  • Appreciate your employees—publically. Take the extra time to notice—and thank—your teams when they’ve been successful. If your employees realize that you’re invested in them as a person, not just a cog in the machine, they will feel valued. Employees who feel valued want to contribute.


  • Get in touch. Personally, my favorite part of my day is chatting with my team–it connects us, solidifies our common goals, reassures our purpose together, and motivates us to do great work. Set 10-15 minutes aside each day to pop into your employees’ offices. Don’t view them as meetings, just opportunities to catch up with your people and hear what they have to say.


“77% of employees are engaged when they strongly agree that there is open communication, opportunities to provide input, and management support.” (Gallup)


By perpetuating a culture of collaboration and actual conversations with one another, your employees will catch on and want to do the same.


Motivation & creativity are contagious. Once your employees “catch it”, you’ll see a change in their engagement—for the better. Maybe during your next meeting, they’ll have something to add.


Questions? Call us!


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