You may call them ‘zombies’ behind their backs, those folks who are there along with you at work or serving on executive boards, but not really engaged. They do little, offer few ideas, and rarely pitch in or volunteer. Last ones in and first ones out the door, no matter what time it is where you are, it’s time to either get them actively involved or out the door.
These folks are the ones who are disconnected in an obvious way. They may do what they are asked but more often will come up with reasons why they are unable to do it.. They have checked out, but the problem is that they haven’t actually left.
I think there are more reasons why people are ROTJ (retired on the job) than I can come up with in a blog post. I do know that they are not engaged or inspired. Perhaps they were once but not it’s gone, or if apparent – fleeting.
If you think you are ROTJ – you need to be honest about it. It’s possible that once you figure out what you are really good at and get excited about. If it’s not part of what you are supposed to be doing, you might want to determine if you can get re-energized in your approach.
If it’s a colleague or employee that is ROTJ – it might also be a question of ‘fit.’ If you can connect what someone is good at, and gets excited about and put them in a position where they can do it and be successful, then you have a better chance of engagement. While many people need to connect intellectually, don’t ignore the value of making an emotional connection. And making sure people feel appreciated is also a way to increase engagement. It’s harder to be ROTJ when you are excited about what you are doing and people notice.
My work allows me to see the result of working alongside of ROTJ colleagues at all levels, from employee, to manager, to executive to executive board. I see firsthand the challenge of waiting. Have the hard conversation and let people know you’ve noticed a lack of excitement and involvement
If there is a collective sigh of relief when they finally depart, you’ve waited too long.