Motivation lags sometimes, even in the most enthusiastic and driven people. When one of your top performers falls into a rut and finds it hard to put in their usual effort, it can mean missed innovation, a lull in productivity and sometimes even a drop in profits.
You can watch for several signs of an unmotivated employee, according to HR specialist, Kristen DeFazio. Sometimes, employees who typically deliver above-average work may no longer want to exceed expectations. Other times, energetic employees may lose their enthusiasm for interacting with colleagues or clients. You also might notice employees pushing back more and resisting when they are asked to do something.
When you see the signs of a struggling employee, it’s time to step in and work on a solution together. For example, employees may be having trouble in their personal life and could benefit from adjusted office hours or a lighter workload temporarily. Unless you talk with them, you won’t know how you can help.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share tips from DeFazio on how to help employees rekindle their motivation at work.
Understand the cause. The first step to helping an unmotivated employee is understanding what’s causing them to lose motivation. The best way to do this, according to DeFazio, is simply to ask. Invite them to a virtual lunch or schedule some time to have a casual conversation to talk about how things are going. You could say something like, “I like that you always share great ideas in meetings, and I noticed you haven’t been speaking up lately. What’s going on?” Keep in mind that employees are most likely to share when they already have a trusting relationship with their boss.
Talk things through. When you notice an employee struggling to find their motivation, there could be a simple fix. Talk with them about how they feel in their current role or with their current responsibilities. Perhaps they are feeling burned out or they are frustrated when other sales reps are not held accountable. Sometimes, they may feel they have outgrown their role and want to take on more responsibility. DeFazio says that a promotion may sometimes be a proactive measure to avoid dissatisfaction in the first place.
Get to know your employees better. To improve motivation, you must know what motivates your employees. In your conversations, find out what drives your sales reps. Are they motivated by bonuses and incentives when they hit certain benchmarks? Do they value flexible work hours, or do they want to improve their skills through training and development programs? What’s important and motivating to one employee may look different from someone else, so be sure to custom tailor your approach for each sales rep.
Offer a challenge. If you can’t offer a promotion or perks to re-inspire your employees, try a challenge, suggests DeFazio. She says if the employee is up for it, giving them the freedom and independence to tackle a problem can refresh their wellspring of innovation. It also gives the employee a chance to learn a new skill or work in a different area that could stretch their talents and give them more visibility.
Productivity slumps and lack of motivation happen from time to time. However, if you see this becoming a trend on your team, take steps to reignite that lost motivation. Figure out what’s behind the slump and determine what could help turn things around. Whether your employees could benefit from some flexibility or the challenge of taking on a new project, you can help them rediscover their enthusiasm and get them back to performing at their best.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Kristen DeFazio is a human resources specialist at Insperity. With more than 10 years of HR experience, DeFazio is a strategic and contemporary leader, passionate about employee satisfaction and development in relation to overall performance and profitability.
Used with permission from PPAI Publications