Lack of motivation is one the key reasons businesses and other organisations fail. Productivity is low, output is low and just being in the office with unmotivated people can be really, really depressing. It isn’t their fault though, because this usually results from an organisation that doesn’t care, develop or respect their employees as living breathing people.
If you spot any of these people – beware – you have dead people at work.
Zombies died a long time ago. Their brains are dead, their bodies are falling to pieces, as is their work. They show up around 9am and leave around 5 pm, doing very little in between. They learn nothing and deliver very little, as they don’t think about what they are doing at all.
Zombies can be hard to re-animate. You’ll need to pump back all that interesting life blood and show you care about whether they are alive or dead. Then they’ll care too.
2. On-line Games champions
This group will look very busy, staring intently at their computer screens and issuing an occasional gasp, shout or air punch. They’re not working for you; they’re doing something much more interesting (for them).
On the plus side, at least they are improving their problem solving skills and technical dexterity. Find something for them to do that takes advantage of these skills.
3. Moaners and complainers
“Why can’t I have a pay rise?” “It’s too warm/cold/drafty by my desk” “Why am I always the one who has to clean the kettle?” “No-one has cleaned the coffee machine today, and it’s run out of filters.” Etc.
The list is endless, and they will grind you down and grind down the rest of your team too. They just complain. It never seems to occur to them that with a little effort, they could resolve the problem.
Ask them to identify the top 3 problems along with a solution for each. In other words, give them some responsibility, listen attentively then help them implement a solution.
4. Social butterflies
They probably arrive late, due to a hangover or they missed the bus because they had the wrong footwear/headgear/tie on. They will be on the phone and social media all day. They look busy, working hard, and they are. Only not for you! They will often be found drinking coffee and chatting by the coffee machine.
They need deadlines for their work and a lot of appreciation. Frequent thank yous can work well, and give you an excuse to keep a close eye on them.
5. The lost
These poor souls will have a permanently perplexed expression on their faces, but never quite seem to get up the nerve to come and ask for help. They wander aimlessly around the office, muttering under their breath “I don’t understand what I’m supposed to be doing”, or “why am I doing this?” Maybe they missed a key briefing for their project.
They need someone to clarify their objectives and goals with them.
6. The sick
The irony is, of course, that they aren’t actually in the workplace at all! I’m not talking about those people who have genuine illnesses. They deserve proper sympathy and support. NO, the people I mean are those who are always ill on Friday afternoons or who seem to be sick a whole lot more than everyone else.
The probability is that they haven’t realised how much sick leave they actually take. A quiet word about their work, along with the facts about the amount of sick leave they have. They may have an unrealised problem, or they just need to be appreciated a bit more.
7. The lazy
Working in an unmotivated workplace, can make people think that hard work isn’t appreciated. It work itself isn’t very engaging either, then people can just get very lazy. They just do enough to get by, they never volunteer for anything.
They may never change, and you may need to lose them. This may not be a great loss to you.