5 Tips for Motivating Unengaged Employees

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121353352Were you aware that money is not the primary motivation of your employees? While money is a large motivator for many employees — especially in a failing economy — it is often not the primary thing that motivates productivity within the workplace.

A recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association showed that 25% of employees reported a lack of motivation to do their best work. In addition, only 52% reported feeling valued within the workplace.

Motivational studies conducted from 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works plant in Chicago helped shine light on aspects within the workplace that motivate employees to increase productivity, maintain a positive attitude, and display overall contentment with their careers. Results from the original study indicated that employee production was affected by a number of aspects, including changes within the work environment and noted appreciation.

The following tips have been designed to help you motivate unengaged employees to perform at top levels:

1. Engage Employees Individually

Try to engage your employees individually. While this may not be possible in instances where a large work-force is maintained, it is important that you try to individually reach out to as many of your employees as possible. Have a one-on-one meeting with employees who you think might have a little something extra to offer the company. Find out what interests them and what their passions are. You might even consider putting certain individuals in a mentor position with another employee. It is hard not to be motivated when you are responsible for someone else’s success.

2. Show Appreciation

Lack of appreciation is one of the biggest complaints among many individuals in the workforce. Few individuals can be motivated to deliver their best work if they do not feel a certain level of appreciation is expressed for their efforts. You can show appreciation in a variety of ways. For some, a simple “thank you” once in a while may be all that is necessary. Others, however, may require a bit more incentive. Employee recognition programs are an excellent approach to expressing appreciation for your employees. Occasional employee dinners, parties, or special occasion cards (such as birthdays and anniversaries) are also a great way to show your employees that you appreciate their hard work.

3. Open the Lines of Communication

Unfortunately, it seems that the lines of communication between management and staff are often broken, or frayed to say the least. This break in communication often leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and rumors. In some instances, someone may even feel pressured to leave their position as a result. Supervisors and managers should take the time to actively communicate with employees and share important information regarding the company. Ask for employee feedback on a regular basis and make sure your employees are comfortable with asking questions or expressing concerns to upper management.

4. Treat Employees with Respect

In many ways, this relates back to showing appreciation. Respect goes beyond appreciation, however. The way you treat your employees in front of customers and co-workers is a large indication of how much respect you have for your employees. Managers and supervisors who reprimand employees in front of others are often viewed as having little respect for the individuals who work for them. If you have an issue with an employee, take that individual aside to express your concerns. Managers who display a low level of respect for employees are not only seen as disrespectful by the staff, but by the customers as well.

5. Include Employees in the Company’s Success

Employees want to feel like they are an important part of the company. Of course, they already are, as your business could not run without them. However, they will feel a much stronger tie to the corporation if they are invested directly with the company’s success. Profit sharing is an excellent way to accomplish this. Profit sharing programs foster employee identification with the success of the company.

While there will invariably be some employees whom you simply cannot seem to motivate, you can encourage the majority of your staff to increase productivity while you increase happiness levels in the workplace. By implementing these five tips into your everyday work strategies, you can motivate unengaged employees to deliver top-notch performance in the workplace.

Agree? Disagree? Add your insightful comments here.