How To Re-Engage Unmotivated Employees
Every team has dips in engagement. This may happen after a particularly busy season or high-stress project. To re-energize employees who may have fallen into a rut, you don’t need inspiring words or to bring in a motivational speaker.
David Burkus, an author, podcaster and professor, says there are a few helpful ways leaders can motivate the unmotivated. We highlight his worker engagement ideas in this issue of PromoPro Daily.
Mix things up. Simply changing up people’s tasks is one of the best ways to renew their enthusiasm. Novelty can be a powerful motivator, Burkus says, and the lack of novelty in a job can be demotivating. Look for ways to challenge your team members in new ways. Introduce them to some growth-inducing tasks and projects.
Build new bonds. When employees feel disconnected or isolated from the team or clients, they can become unmotivated. That’s why it’s important to help team members feel connected to each other by creating opportunities for them to connect. Don’t downplay the value of things like lunches, icebreakers and other functions for people to talk about their lives outside of work.
Reframe the work. Knowing how your work serves others can be a powerful motivator, Burkus says. However, many teams are so far removed from the end customers or even from other teams who benefit from their work that they lose sight of how their work makes a difference. Leaders can help reframe the work. This could be by bringing customers in to meet your team or by sharing thank you notes.
Provide more feedback. Everyone can benefit from feedback sessions — especially those who may be feeling disengaged. Burkus says leaders should know the distinction between providing sufficient feedback and becoming a micromanager. As people grow and develop in their role, feedback should shift from telling people how to do specific tasks and towards coaching them to solve problems they’re already equipped to solve.
Stay mindful of stress levels. It’s important to strike the right balance with stress in the workplace. Too much stress can be demotivating, but so can too little stress. Burkus says as a leader, watching the stress means monitoring your team’s capacity so that they don’t get overloaded. Find ways to offload certain projects or otherwise reduce the workload. You can also look for signs that your staffers are not being challenged enough.
In addition to the ideas above, you could also use promos to re-engage your team. Branded gifts like colorful coffee mugs or cheerful desktop plants can help put a spark back into the workplace.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: David Burkus is an author, podcaster and associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University.