• Anna Conrad

Managing an Employee Who’s Checked Out



An employee might mentally check out for many reasons. They could have a personal issue or may be experiencing burnout. They might even be unaware that they've been slipping. Here are ways to manage such an employee:

Before the conversation

  • Learn about available support systems for the employee — including employee resource groups, assistance plans, and health networks.

  • Identify the specific requirements of the job that this person is not meeting. Be ready to present this during the conversation.

During the conversation

Provide them with a chance to tell you what's going on before sharing your assessment of their performance.

Be compassionate and make it clear you have a sincere desire to support them.

Discuss your priorities, be straightforward and specific about your concerns, and come up with a plan to reengage them in their work.

Be patient — but to a point. Getting an employee reengaged won't happen overnight. But if an employee is genuinely checked out, it ultimately might not be the proper role.

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