Reports & research

Actively disengaged and staying: Dealing with ‘prisoners’ in the workplace

Despite best efforts to build a culture of engagement, it’s likely that within any organisation there will be some employees who are unmotivated and disengaged.

This white paper examines a subset of disengaged employees who we have termed ‘Workplace Prisoners’; someone who indicates they will stay at their organisation, despite a lack of motivation to improve or give their best effort, and a lack of positive things to say about their organisation.

With these employees estimated to represent about 8% of the global workforce, they can form a small but influential outlier group who significantly impact the experience, motivation and achievements of other employees.

While disengaged employees often ‘self-select’ out of the organisation, unfortunately this is not always the case with Workplace Prisoners. Typically tenured and adequately remunerated, these employees are unlikely to be high performers – yet unfortunately, they are shown to be more likely to stay in their workplace than the average employee. As a result they can pose significant challenges in terms of attracting new talent, achieving organisational goals and creating a culture of engagement.

Using real client examples, this white paper investigates the fundamental causes and characteristics of Workplace Prisoners and provides actionable strategies for Managers, CHROs, CEOs and Workplace Prisoners themselves, to help performance manage and eliminate these problems.