If you are starting to experience pushback or resistance to any requests from a team member it can be one of the less obvious signs of disengagement. There can be a plethora of reasons why people don’t like to do some extra tasks in the workplace, and they don’t always indicate disengagement. Let’s consider some of the ways a team member may be pushing back and specifically what the pushback looks like.
One of the main reasons that a team member may be resisting taking on an additional task is because they feel aggrieved as a result of an incident with a colleague or the management team. If they feel they were treated unjustly they will often display their displeasure by not taking on any additional tasks or ‘working to rule’ and sticking to the roles that are on their employment contract. They will sometimes combine this with the ‘Silent Treatment’ that we spoke about in a previous article. In some instances, their response will be governed by their predominant energy. Team members high in Sustaining energy have a deep sense of fairness and will be very much affected if they have been treated unfairly but will not let it affect the security of their position. High Activating team members will probably quit shortly thereafter, being overly optimistic that something better will come along. Either way, in this example, disengagement will not be the reason for their behaviour.
Another reason can be that the team member is already working flat out and doesn't have the capacity to take on additional work or requests. Once again, this can be a reflection of their predominant energy. Those who are high Refining energy take action by working to a process or a system. They are usually not happy with ad hoc change and quick decisions affecting their routine and without extensive lead time before taking on any additional work they will not be comfortable.
Team members who have high Inspiring energy such as Coach profiles usually avoid confrontation as they tend to take criticism personally and internalise it to a large degree. They will more than likely take on the additional workload with little complaint, but team leaders need to be aware that disharmony is probably bubbling away beneath the surface.
As we have spoken about in each article, disengagement is often a sign that a team member is in the departure lounge and about to leave or looking for a new job. Most don’t want to flag that they are leaving, however, especially if they are still in the transit lounge. The pushback against requests by the management team to take on additional tasks will often flag their disinterest so many who are looking at leaving will actually take on more tasks in the short period before they announce their departure.
Rarely have I met someone who is happy to take on additional work, although they do exist and team culture is often the determining factor. A team where the members are working in flow has the capacity to allocate tasks specifically to the right profile type and achieve substantial increases in capacity and productivity.
The message I would like to leave you with is to keep your team in flow by understanding their strengths and their challenges and then leverage these for the benefit of the team and the profitability of the business.
Identify, attract, recruit, train and retain the best people for your team. With a combined experience of over 40 years in the Real Estate industry, Julie and Neil are well suited to understanding the challenges of your profession. Thanks to a simple, logical, focussed and easy to implement system Agent Dynamics has been able to assist over a thousand principals, business owners, leaders and real estate professionals just like you to achieve the success you are wanting.