Disengaged Employees? Send Them To Learning Bootcamp


Cloud learning software
that helps companies develop a learning culture.

Disengaged Employees? Send Them To Learning Bootcamp

Written on Mar 2, 2017 3:19:32 PM, by Cezara Pralea

Have you ever thought about how many disengaged employees you have and what their impact on your revenue has been? By some estimates companies lose between 20 and 25% of their revenue each year due to disengaged employees.

Many companies underestimate how many disengaged employees they have, but according to the 2016 Udemy Workplace Boredom Study almost half of full-time employees in the US (43%) are disengaged and 51% feel this way at least half the time.

Udemy found that boredom isn’t just related to a tedious job, it has more to do with few learning and development opportunities. Employees are stagnating and they are feeling the effects.

Also read: Why Learning And Engagement Are Inseparable

People who took the survey stated that they were not able to learn new skills, were not challenged, and did not have work that made use of their education or background. The solution to this is simple: teach them something.


80% of employees felt they would be more engaged if they were learning new skills. 

While learning is an important aspect of a company culture, (as we know, all employees should be learning), the disengaged employees may be harder to reach. They often do not call attention to themselves and need to be reached before they quit or do more harm to your company.

How to spot a disengaged employee

If you aren’t sure whether or not  your employees are disengaged, look for these signs:

No zest for the job

Some employees may not be enthusiastic about any part of the job, even the fun parts. There is a strong possibility they are disengaged.

Nothing is ever right

If they complain about everything and nothing seems to be good enough, they are probably not happy with their job or the company.

All by themselves

Some employees are more introverted, but there are some that don’t want to help anyone or be a part of any team. They have probably lost all interest in their job.


When employees can not focus on their job, it might be more than just a case of ADD. Look for other signs of trouble along with lack of focus to determine if they are disengaged.

Not going the extra mile

Every now and then, an employee may have an off day when they are not as productive. Disengaged employees will often have very little initiative for the job over a long period. They do not seem to care about their performance or tying to do their best.

Now that you know that you have disengaged employees and what signs to look for, here is what you do: Learning Bootcamp!

You might be wondering many things: So I really need a bootcamp? Won’t that be expensive? Can’t I just send them to a training somewhere?

Why bootcamp?

If you have employees who are disengaged, they have probably been like that for a long time. In most cases you will not be able to send them an email about an upcoming training and expect them to jump on board and start working at full speed again.

Also read: Taking Learning To The Next Level With Gamification

These employees may need a little extra help. They will need to see that the company is invested in them and is going to work to help them grow and succeed. This more intense feedback and intervention is why a bootcamp is the best choice. It will help them get out of the rut and get involved again. It will help them kickstart their learning and start on a better path.

Bootcamp can also get employees in touch with the company values and vision again. It can help connect them with managers and leaders.

Bootcamp can also save you a lot of money. New hires cost a lot of money. In fact, most businesses spend about 12% of an employee’s annual salary on rehiring a year. That number goes up to 40% for companies with a high turnover rate. 

Another financial motivator is that employees who are properly trained and motivated make fewer mistakes. This means that companies do not have to pay to have mistakes fixed and do not have to have two employees working on the same tasks.

So, while a learning bootcamp might seem like a lot of time and money, research estimates that companies who make learning and development a priority make about $169,000 per employee, while companies who don’t only make $82,800. And just for one more finding, companies who spend $1,500 on training per employee see about 24% more revenue than companies who invest less.

Now that we’ve established you need it, it’s time to start planning your bootcamp!

Creating the perfect bootcamp

Bootcamp does require a lot of work, but it does not require employees sitting in training sessions hour after hour, every day for a week. In fact, some of the best bootcamps don’t have that format. Bootcamps can take many different forms and still be very effective.


No matter what kind of format you use, it is useful to have some sort of structure and blended learning environment. Whether offline or online, employees should know what to expect from this experience.

Know what they need

In order for bootcamp to be successful, it needs to be relevant to employees. That means that leaders need to know what employees want to know. After talking to employees and managers about what kind of training sessions they need, leaders also need to give them time to practice those skills in sessions and in their jobs.

Using technology

E-learning and mobile learning can be excellent ways to encourage bootcamp participants to learn on their own or at home. There is also the social element to e-learning that can help people connect when they are not with their team.

Also read: Learn Smarter, not Harder: The Benefits of Social Learning

Group learning

Employees who are disengaged may need to interact with people in more positive ways. Bootcamp could be used as a way to allow them to learn in teams, reflect on what they have learned, to give feedback to others, and to recieve feedback.

Promoting culture

As part of the training, leaders need to show that they want to listen to employees and understand their needs. They can work with employees to build a stronger culture of learning and show that they are committed to continuous learning.


In order to achieve continuous learning, leaders need to make sure that employees have resources for learning. That could be an LMS, curated content, a company library, or any other initiative that helps employees learn.

They can also help employees with continued professional development by assigning them to mentors or helping them create professional development plans. Organize your resources to fit your bootcamp format.

Make it fun

Learning is always better when it is fun and motivation comes from celebrating successes. Include some of these creative team building activities in your program.

Make sure you celebrate your employees, have fun with them, and show them how important they are to you and the company.

While disengaged employees are not great for a company, they are not devastating. They can even be the inspiration for an amazing program like a learning bootcamp. Get your boots on because you are going to need them for the hard work it takes to help disengaged employees become engaged. But the end result is worth it: everyone benefits, everyone learns something, and everyone has fun.

Cezara Pralea
Cezara is a Business Development Manager for Teamfluent. She is also a Jedi writer and a passionate learner, always on the lookout for the next life-changing book.