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6 Ways to Inspire Passion In Unmotivated Employees

6 Ways to Inspire Passion In Unmotivated Employees

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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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

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Jared Buckley

Millennial Skills Coach - Talent Development Consultant

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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