Dealing with unmotivated employees can send even the sharpest manager or business owner into a fit of frustration.
In fact, if they’re not careful, it can even lead managers down the road toward wrongfully stereotyping entire groups or generations. For instance, the millennials have gotten a bad rap as being apathetic. But this type of stereotyping and generalization is dangerous for any boss, leader, or manager.
The truth is, apathy or any other emotion is an individual issue and not a generational one – which means that leaders must recognize the signs that an employee is becoming unmotivated, and help to inspire them before the problem gets worse.
Focus On The Person, Not The Group
As long as you are not actually dealing with a group problem, it’s best to avoid assigning the blame to anyone except the one employee who is unmotivated.
When you focus on the unmotivated employee as soon as you notice the issue, you have a better chance of quickly solving the problem. Most unmotivated individuals are dealing with other emotional matters that are stealing their motivation. The trick is to connect with them to help redirect their emotions in the right direction. Motivation will definitely follow the emotions when they are guided correctly.
One of the main tricks is to ignite their passion for their work. If you find their passion, their motivation will follow.
In order to make this process as simple as possible, I have put together six ways to inspire passion in unmotivated employees. Try them out – I would love to hear how they worked.
6 Ways To Inspire Passion In Employees
- Care about the person, not their productivity. Forget about your employee’s employment status for a short while. Connect with them on a personal basis to discover if there is something deeper causing their lack of motivation. Ask questions, and listen carefully to their responses. If you can connect with someone on a personal level, you might find the secret sauce to unleashing passion.
- Redirect praise. There are hundreds of reasons to praise employees every day. If you are able to find a reason to redirect praise given to you as the boss toward your employee – giving them their share of the credit – do so. But be genuine in your praise, so that it has merit. If you are able to give them a sense of pride, you could help ignite the passion you are looking for.
- Guide toward desired results. You cannot beat passion out of people. Instead, guide them down the path toward the desirable employee you are looking for. Cast your vision personally, reinforce your values practically, and praise them toward the end goal. These actions will direct your apathetic employee toward your desired outcome.
- Invest in their potential. Remember why you hired your employee. During the interview and on-boarding processes, you saw their potential. But as with all relationships, the “honeymoon” stage will cool. Try to keep it alive by keeping your eyes focused on your employee’s future. Sometimes when employees lack motivation, it has more to do with the leader than it does the employee. Do you believe in their potential? If you do, invest in that potential and watch the passion rise.
- Expose any passion. Every person has passion. Whether or not the passion looks like yours is irrelevant. You simply need to find a person’s passion, and then understand it. What does it look like? How does it manifest in the employee’s daily life? Now expose that passion and redirect it where it needs to live in the workplace.
- Flame the fire of belief. Employees can fall into the trap of no longer believing in themselves, their abilities, or their future. As the leader, you must stoke the fire of belief in your employees. As you flame the fire of belief in your whole team, you will see the team ignite in belief, passion, motivation, and production. And once in place, work to guard that sense of self-belief by fueling the fire.
It Starts with the Leader
Every leader will face the problem of unmotivated individuals.
But as their leader, you have a responsibility to not let their motivation die, by inspiring passion that drives their motivation. Passion has a shelf life, so keep the passion burning and watch the production of your employees blow you away.
Featured photo credit: Hans/Pixabay via pixabay.com