You’ve probably heard the stories by now. An employee just chooses to disappear one day without a trace. No contact at all.

It doesn’t really matter where this phenomenon came from. What matters is what it tells you about your organization. And yes, it really hurts.

There are a few reasons why someone would do this to you:

  • They don’t have a reason to care about their boss or others they work with.
  • The work they’re doing isn’t particularly engaging or rewarding.
  • It’s easier to disengage than to have a conversation about what’s frustrating them.

The good news is that each of these things are preventable to some degree!

A lot of it starts with developing a caring and open relationship with each employee. Conveying that you really do, honestly, want them to feel productive and valuable in their work.

That you really do want to understand what would make this an enjoyable work environment.

That you really do want to help them resolve conflicts which arise.

Because you really do want those things, right? You’re not just saying it because it sounds good? Be honest with yourself, because your people WILL see your deeper motivation.

If you think about it, this is similar to what happens when a customer just stops having contact with you. We don’t tend to use the same kind of language, but customers do have a tendency to disengage because that’s easier than bringing up their concerns.

So … maybe we should think about attracting and keeping employees in a similar way to keeping customers?

Because, in a very real way, you ARE selling them something. The opportunity to do valuable work and be rewarded for it.