A-Rod’s Cheating Heart & Your Disengaged Employees

A-Rod and his cheating heart… wow.  The news of his divorce was juicy enough, but to further learn it was because he had “an affair of the heart with Madonna?  What a story! I have to agree with the ex-Mrs. A-Rod though – affairs of the heart are just as bad, if not worse, than a physical affair.

Flip to affairs of the heart in the workplace – are any of your employees cheating on you?  MaybeAlex_madonna  something sexy hasn’t lured them away.. yet… but isn’t a lack of engagement exactly the same thing as an affair of the heart? Because when disengaged, where are your employees investing their heart and energy?  Certainly not in you, although they continue to show up to work every day (as you continue to pay them without fail…).

A-Rod’s situation reminds me to go back to basics and look at disengagement, or affairs of the heart.  There are tell-tale signs you’re being cheated on, and here are my top three:

Lack of relationships in the workplace.  The employee doesn’t feel invested enough to make and maintain any friendships or meaningful professional relationships.

Focused on problems without every coming up with a single solution.  You know this type.  They whine, whine and whine, but never make a single effort to fix the problem.

Lacking a physical presence (literally).  Frequently absent, frequently late.  There’s no drive to be there on time, let alone early, and you can expect 40 hours (or less) per week.

The stats for the unengaged and disengaged workforce range from one in three employees to 72%, depending on who you ask.  That means if we unscientifically do the math and take the average of those two studies, that’s about 50% fo your workfoce who are not engaged and cheating on you!!  50%!! And 50% of all marriages end in divorce, right?  The similarities are uncanny.

Whether personal or professional, the reality is that not all relationships will work out in the end.  Although I believe in fate and finding “the one”, there are bound to be mistakes along the way before finding Mr. Right.  And I don’t believe that all realtionships are salvageable either, so when you’ve got a cheating A-Rod in your midst, within the workplace, either cut the ties and file for divorce, or get yourself in to see a couples counselor.

Now that we’re done taking about the disengaged and engaged, here are some good bits on employee engagement – here, here and here.

FOT Background Check

Kris Dunn
 Kris Dunn is Chief Human Resources Officer at Kinetix and a blogger at The HR Capitalist and the Founder and Executive Editor of Fistful of Talent. That makes him a career VP of HR, a blogger, a dad and a hoops junkie, the order of which changes based on his mood. Tweet him @kris_dunn. Oh, and in case you hadn't heard the good word, he's also jumped into the RPO game as part owner of a rising shop out of ATL, Kinetix. Not your mama's recruiting process outsourcing, that's for sure... check 'em out.


  1. Chris Young says:

    Interesting connection you make here Jessica! I shared you post with my readers in my weekly rendidtion of my Rainmaker ‘Fab Five’ blog picks of the week found here: http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2008/08/the-rainmaker-2.html
    Be well!

  2. Kim Bailey says:

    Nice post, Chris. I think that disengagement can come for many reasons, but so often it seems to stem from people NOT working in areas of strengths. I think that during our search and hire processes, we tend to look for skills and past experience without really finding out what the person LIKES to do, and therefore likely has true strengths in. After all, how can we expect people to have a passion for something, if it isn’t something they have a natural talent and developed strenghts in?
    If someone spends much of their time “ironing out” their rough spots (or weaknesses) then I think disengagement is a natural next step. Whereas, if they are spending much of their time leveraging their strenghts, then engagement is a very likely outcome.
    Just my thoughts.

  3. Jessica Lee says:

    chris – thanks for including me in your posting! honored to be part of the fab five!
    kim, thanks for your thoughts! i’m of the same belief that you should work people to their strengths. goes back to motivational fit when hiring, doesn’t it? people may have the skills to do a job… but skills alone aren’t enough to make a lasting fit. you’re spot on.

  4. Kate says:

    It’s so true, Happy People =Happy Profits. Disengaged employees often act out of their unhappiness, they can sometimes be quite malicious bad mouthing their workmates or aspects of the job they don’t like. This has an effect on your employer brand and it can lead their team mates to be distracted and unproductive around them.
    To give you an idea of how big this issue is over in Australia- Gallup estimates that disengaged employees cost Australian businesses $32.7billion per annum.
    Medibank Private (one of Australia’s largest health fund’s) just released a study which found employees who are stressed at work and therefore unproductive cost the economy $15 billion.
    We work in the employee engagement space in Aus, my company has written a FREE little book from what we have found works to keep employees happy in the workplace, aligned with the company vision and motivated as individuals adding value to the business.
    Check it out at:

  5. I will recommend not to wait until you get enough amount of money to buy different goods! You can just get the credit loans or just small business loan and feel yourself free

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