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6 Ways to Inspire Passion In Unmotivated Employees

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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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More by this author

Jared Buckley

Millennial Skills Coach - Talent Development Consultant

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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