You walk by Stefan’s desk and say: “you’re going to finish that today, right?”, to which Stefan unenthusiastically replies: “yep!”, while his inside voice thinks “I’ll get to it when I get to it!”. Stefan is not engaged. His voice signals that he will be shutting down his computer at 4:56pm; that he will be responding “sorry, gotta go!” to Alicia when she asks for his help; and the customer waiting for a response to their email will simply have to wait.
Stefan is not a bad person, or even a bad employee. He does the essentials no more, and not much less. Your own inside voice may describe Stefan as un-motivated, lacking work ethic, frustrating and not a team player. As a dedicated, hardworking entrepreneur, you may find yourself asking (wishing?): “why can’t people be more like me?”. It’s a fair question, because you’re pretty awesome. This is where the world of employee engagement becomes fraught with peril.