Even the most motivated team can lose their enthusiasm over time. The economy could tank, forcing a company to make a tough choice between cutting employees’ pay or laying people off. A key client could triple the size of its contract, causing a ton of work to fall onto an already-overworked team’s plate. Employees could just become tired of doing the same tasks day in and day out.
No matter the industry, demotivated employees come with the territory. Not only do these workers produce less and less, they can also drag their coworkers’ morale down too. Who wants to bust their tail every day when their teammate, who’s rarely in an upbeat mood, is doing less and less work?
The good news is you don’t have to give up on your demotivated employees — at least not just yet. Before you go searching for replacement candidates, try to motivate your demotivated employees with the following tactics:
1. Ask your employees if anything’s bothering them
You never know when something has happened in your employee’s personal life that’s put a dark cloud over their head. It’s also possible that something happened at work that made your employee become jaded. To start motivating your unmotivated workers, you first need to find out what’s been bothering them. The easiest way to do that is to ask.
2. Let your workers tackle pet projects
Nobody wants to do the same thing day in and day out. It can get old fast. To motivate your employees, let them work on projects that appeal to them — at least on a minimal basis. For example, someone in your financing department might be sick of looking at spreadsheets and crunching numbers all day every day. To mix things up, let them write the occasional blog post to showcase their thought leadership.
3. Communicate clearly about what’s going on at the company
It’s not uncommon for teams to get demotivated when the rumor mill starts churning. In order to prevent any misinformation from spreading like wildfires among your employees, be open and transparent about any coming changes, potential challenges, and exciting opportunities that may exist in the future.
4. Offer new perks
No, you don’t need to give your employees an unlimited amount of time off or insane bonuses at the end of the year to motivate them. If you’ve not done so already, consider letting your employees adopt flexible schedules. While you’re at it, let them work remotely too. Studies show that folks who have more control over their time are happier and more productive. Give your employees more perks, and they’ll work harder if for no other reason than they don’t want to lose their enviable working situation.
5. Recognize your employees’ best efforts
Imagine working really hard on something, doing a great job on it, and not having your efforts recognized? It wouldn’t exactly be encouraging. If you aren’t in the habit of recognizing your employees’ hard work on a regular basis, correct course right away. Employee recognition goes a long way toward improving engagement.
6. Invest in career development
While many employees are interested in opportunities to grow and advance their careers, only 25% of employees believe their organizations offer ample professional development opportunities, as evidenced in our Engagement Report. To motivate your employees, make professional development a top priority at your organization. Support your employees. Help them learn new skills. Pay for them to attend trade shows, symposiums, and conferences. Invest in their well-being, and they’ll be happy to return the favor.
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