SurveyMonkey is built to handle every use case and need. Explore our product to learn how SurveyMonkey can work for you.

Get data-driven insights from a global leader in online surveys.

Integrate with 100+ apps and plug-ins to get more done.

Build and customize online forms to collect info and payments.

Create better surveys and spot insights quickly with built-in AI.

Purpose-built solutions for all of your market research needs.


Measure customer satisfaction and loyalty for your business.

Learn what makes customers happy and turn them into advocates.

Get actionable insights to improve the user experience.

Collect contact information from prospects, invitees, and more.

Easily collect and track RSVPs for your next event.

Find out what attendees want so that you can improve your next event.

Uncover insights to boost engagement and drive better results.

Get feedback from your attendees so you can run better meetings.

Use peer feedback to help improve employee performance.

Create better courses and improve teaching methods.

Learn how students rate the course material and its presentation.

Find out what your customers think about your new product ideas.


Best practices for using surveys and survey data

Our blog about surveys, tips for business, and more.

Tutorials and how to guides for using SurveyMonkey.

How top brands drive growth with SurveyMonkey.

Contact SalesLog in
Contact SalesLog in

Employee disengagement happens when workers are apathetic about work. Learn why disengagement matters and how to stop it.

woman sitting looking at laptop and charts

Employee disengagement impacts everything from your customer experiences to the amount of time your employees stay at your business. Organizations that suffer from high levels of employee disengagement will experience lower profits, increased employee churn, and reduced productivity rates. 

Let’s explore the current state of employee disengagement, why it occurs, how to measure it, and how your business can increase employee engagement.

Employee disengagement occurs when employees do not feel connected or interested in the work they do. Without motivation to perform well at work, disengaged employees often submit sub-par work and don’t give all of their effort to tasks while at work.

A disengaged employee typically needs a better employee experience (EX) at your company. Their experience represents the holistic experience from end-to-end in the employee lifecycle. Companies that actively work on improving their EX will support employees, give them room to grow, and motivate them, turning them into satisfied employees.

Measuring employee disengagement as a part of your employee experience research will help create an action plan to improve it. Employee experience management contributes to a happier workplace with satisfied employees. These employees are more committed to their roles, resulting in higher profits, boosted productivity rates, and improved customer experiences. 

Employees don’t feel disengaged without a reason. Here are some of the most prominent causes of employee disengagement:

  • Lack of growth opportunities: Employees may not see a clear pathway to grow at their organization, making them look for alternative opportunities elsewhere.
  • Lack of work-life balance: Overworking employees can rapidly lead to burnout. Employees who feel like their work life is intruding on their free time may lose motivation and become disengaged. 
  • Poor leadership and management: Leadership can prevent employees from thinking poorly of their organization and losing interest in their work.
  • Lack of autonomy or work flexibility: In our modern era with remote working opportunities, companies that don’t offer flexible working conditions may create resentful employees who don’t engage at work.

Employee disengagement can stem from one or several of these problems. With that in mind, monitoring your employees with regular employee engagement surveys is vital. 

Employee disengagement can lead to other major business issues, like profit losses, high employee churn rates, and low productivity.

By creating a system for monitoring employees, gaining insight into their perspectives, and taking action based on their feedback, you can start to trace disengagement and reverse it. 

Let’s touch on the benefits of measuring and monitoring employee disengagement.

Your employees are the most insightful people in your company's employee experience. When you monitor employee disengagement and allow your workers to give feedback, you better understand their pain points.

Acting on employee feedback helps your organization create better working environments. You create a positive employee feedback loop by taking action on feedback, implementing changes, and then asking for more feedback.

Your employees will appreciate the chance to express their opinions and respect your company for taking action on their behalf. When you strive to understand your employees, you can identify and address the reasons for their disengagement. 

Employee churn is a common result of employee disengagement. Employees who feel dissatisfied at work are more likely to look for a new job role. 

Attrition is costly for businesses, as the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5-2x an annual salary.

Improving the employee experience by monitoring employee disengagement can help your business keep employees for longer. When people stay at your company longer, you’ll spend less on HR replacement processes.

Measuring employee disengagement with employee feedback surveys and discussions allows you to find gaps in the employee experience. Your employees can point out places where your company should increase support. 

For example, your employee value proposition may miss out on core benefits or experiences that would help employees. Talking directly to your employees will help you identify and remedy these gaps.

When you listen to your employees and implement their feedback, you create a better workplace. Improving your employee value proposition over time will help you attract new top talent, as you have all the benefits that top workers in their fields seek.

Creating a better workplace is a win-win for everyone. 

When you monitor employee disengagement, you can actively track when employee productivity starts to drop. By talking with employees the moment this happens, you can prevent long periods of disengagement.

Actively listening to your employees and measuring disengagement will help improve performance management. This approach boosts employee engagement while keeping productivity rates high. 

woman sitting next to chart

The impact of employee disengagement spans every component of your business. Beyond productivity rates, unsatisfied employees will influence everything from your customer experience to your bottom-line profits.

When you begin to track, monitor, and improve your employee experience, you’ll increase overall levels of engagement. An engaged workforce provides many benefits to your company:

  • Higher sales: Engaged employees feel motivated and will offer customers better experiences with your business, contributing to 20% higher sales.
  • Less absenteeism: Engaged employees are less likely to miss work, resulting in a 41% reduction in employee absenteeism.
  • Safer workplace: More engaged businesses report 48% fewer safety incidents and 41% fewer quality incidents. 

When you create an action plan to improve employee engagement, your whole company thrives.

Now that you understand the importance of employee engagement and how vital it is to overcome employee disengagement, it’s time to find out how to improve.

Here are several effective strategies you can use to reduce disengagement: 

Employee disengagement is a slow and steady decline into apathy. By catching signs of disengagement early, you can implement measures to help restore employee engagement.

Early signs of employee disengagement include:

  • Decreased effort and productivity: When employee productivity rates start to decline, you’re likely facing a disengaged employee. Catching this early and aiming to support them will help stop the decline before it impacts other areas of your business.
  • Emotional absence and detachment: You should step in when once-passionate employees show signs of discontent. Start conversations with these employees and offer to help them find their passion for work again. You might need to discuss additional benefits or enhancements to your compensation packages.
  • Increase in employee complaints: When employees regularly complain about aspects of their work, it’s a sure sign that they’re unhappy with how things are operating. Delve into these complaints and show your employees the actionable steps you are taking to fix them. 

Where possible, collect feedback, compile data, and attempt to identify employee disengagement as early as possible. 

Employee engagement lies at the heart of managing the employee experience. Your business should endeavor to make engagement a priority. With the wide range of impacts that levels of employee engagement can have, it’s vital to focus on continuously improving engagement. 

Remember to regularly involve stakeholders, such as managers, employees, and C-level executives, in your employee engagement plan. Collecting employee feedback on a regular basis will help you better understand your employees' preferences, suggestions, and needs. 

Your employees are complex individuals with their own needs, wants, and struggles inside and outside of work. What’s happening in their lives outside the office influences how they show up to their jobs in the morning. 

When employees are supported with comprehensive benefits packages and other helpful perks, they can focus more on work and less on external factors.

Establish a regular cadence for surveying your employees. Checking in with them once or twice a year isn’t enough to make plans that will matter by the time they’re implemented. Conditions in your office, the market, and beyond can shift in days—let alone months.

Find an employee engagement solution that automates your plan so you can keep current, prevent small problems from becoming big ones, and ease the burden on your team.

Using an automatic data analysis tool, you can rapidly deploy employee engagement surveys to understand your workforce better. Here are some employee engagement survey templates you can use:

  • Employee pulse survey: Use this survey to understand overall employee satisfaction and engagement levels.
  • Employee NPS® survey: Try this template to measure the employee experience and employee loyalty over time.
  • Employee satisfaction survey: Use this survey to discover your employees' level of satisfaction and how they feel about working in your business.

You can improve the employee experience by monitoring, measuring, and responding to the data from these surveys. 

Employee disengagement is one of the most dangerous aspects of running a business. Low motivation levels can cause a reduction in profits, high employee churn, and negatively impact your customer experience.

Creating an effective plan to monitor and enhance your employee experience should be a top priority. See how SurveyMonkey can help you track and improve employee experience today.

HR toolkit: Make employee experience your competitive advantage

HR leaders can use this toolkit to help drive exceptional employee experiences.

From insights to impact: Leveraging curiosity to build more inclusive workplaces

A discussion at how to create a more equitable workplace.

How learning and development improves employee engagement

Learning and development programs are a vital resource to enhance employee engagement, drive satisfaction, and support your workforce.

Belonging and inclusion survey

Measure what drives inclusion at your company with our expert-designed survey template.