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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Engagement and Disengagement

Updated: May 27, 2020

Mental energy, like a muscle, requires specific developmental regimes. You cannot lift 300 pound weights for eight hours a day and expect your biceps to perform the same way the next next day. Physically and psychologically, the human mind will engage and disengage with the job and career thousands of times throughout the life span. ~ David M. Reile, Ph.D.

FOCUS ON: Research on Engagement

Dale Carnegie Training and MSW conducted a study of 1500 employees. To show why engagement matters, first, the definition was shared: “the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to his or her organization.” Next, the research results: 71% of all employees are not fully engaged; 26% are actively disengaged; $11 billion lost annually due to turnover. Key drivers, traits and tips are included in an eye-opening infographic.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Signs of Disengagement

If your clients are showing signs of disengagement, ask if they feel they are being ignored. The employer’s interaction with their employees can either be positive (resulting in low levels of disengagement), negative (showing an increase in disengagement) or out-and-out ignoring the employee (with a high level of disengagement). Such exclusion causes defensive reactions and withdrawal. If your client is the boss, read here for strategies to promote inclusion.

ENCORE CAREERS: Older Workers More Engaged

A 2014 Gallup survey of over 30,000 baby boomers found greater engagement of employees over the age of 60. Is it because they finally found fulfilling work? The age vs engagement issue is even more prominent when gender is added in: older women are in general more engaged at work than men. Read more at

YOUR LIBRARY: The Power of Full Engagement

Here is a testimonial from an entrepreneur about Loehr’s and Schwarz’s book, “The Power of Full Engagement”. This start-up CEO firmly agrees that successful people must periodically disengage from work because managing energy, not time, leads to high performance. Read the full testimonial.

TOP TEN: Reasons Workers Become Disengaged

While money is not the top reason behind disengagement, a lack of a raise matters. As difficult as it may be for the organization to offer salary increases, how can disengagement be resolved when the reason is annoying co-workers? Read all 10 reasons and then begin to think about solutions.


“If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be.” - Dale Carnegie
“The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal.” - Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz


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