By Marga Salvador on October 10, 2016
Over the course of their careers, employees experience a series of highs and lows when it comes to work performance. When they are new hires, they’re excited to please and achieve making work easy to assign and tasks are always accomplished. The veteran employees understand the bells and whistles completely and so it seems as though they glide through the motions.
However, for those who fall in the category between new hire and veteran, they often go through work slumps and become unmotivated to work. They come into work with tired eyes and at 4 o’clock they are just counting down the last sixty minutes. Perhaps the work is stressful or monotonous. Maybe they are dealing with financial or personal problems that are affecting their focus at the office. They want to get out of the rut as much as you want them out, why not help them along the way?
Find the source
Is your employee just lazy or unprofessional? Or is there something more deeply rooted to the problem? You want to understand where they are coming from and what is causing the lack of productivity because whatever the source is, the approach to addressing it will vary. This rapport creates trust in your work relationship ad if you understand what makes your employees tick, motivating them will be second nature.
Loosen up the work environment
With much of the workforce comprising of younger people, constraints don't sit well with them. If you give employees some freedom when it comes to when and where they work, their fidgeting is appeased and are able to balance task with time much better. More and more companies are adopting a form of flexitime where it can be implemented within the structure. If permitting, the option to work from home once a week or twice a month would surely be appreciated by everyone.
Make the work meaningful
When someone feels like their work adds up to nothing and is just another string of processes, they will get burned out. This turns your employees into zombies. One way to churn out productive employees is to make them see the value of their work and it's place in the bigger picture. Demonstrate that each process, added up, is what keeps the company going. If you can help them find meaning in the work, your employees become self-motivated.
Reward and recognize contributions
Now, there's no need to have a ceremony or certificate for each booked client or sale. But recognizing top performers or major account acquisitions are worth even just a small celebration. You can make a system or metric and have a recognition of certain contributions. This is called the Carrot Principle. When an employee feels appreciated for their work, they are driven to repeat the feeling by accomplishing their tasks.
Confront potential toxicity
Coming full circle now, if there is a potential cancer in the workplace, you want to catch it before it spreads. If you have a happy team going, there will always be someone who wants to bring the ship down because they are unsatisfied. As a manager, you want to help this sour apple find his/her way but at the same time, you need to muffle their effects so as not to spread to the rest. It's best to catch and address it early.
Move as a single unit
Even if the specific roles in a team are distinct, it's important to act as a unified front. If one person achieves a goal, everyone cheers. If one person loses a deal, everyone wallows (for a second) then come together to find the next lead. The camaraderie helps gives employees a sense of responsibility to the whole team so they know that if they achieve or underperform, everyone is affected.