Revive Unmotivated Employees With 3 Easy Steps

Did you think of a specific person on your team when you read this title? Why them? What is it they are doing (or not doing) to make you think they are unmotivated? Why do you think they are unmotivated?

Understanding your people is important when it comes to being a leader. When you spot an unmotivated employee, try these 3 steps to kick them back into high gear:


  1. Individual Attention
    Do you spend time with your employees weekly to catch up with them, talk about their work, learn how they are feeling, provide and receive feedback, etc.? If not, this is a big mistake. Employees need individual attention from their leader. It’s easy for workers to feel isolated and alone. If they are underperforming; one-on-one sessions can help you get to the root of the problem, and together, work towards a solution. Solo sessions are a great way for you to praise them for the great work they have done and encourage them. Maybe they are in need of feedback, praise, or a just a conversation.
  1. Provide Growth Opportunities
    It’s possible an unmotivated employee feels stuck. They feel like their work is redundant and they are not moving forward. When you have the one-on-one session with them, try to figure out if this is a factor. If it is, try handing them a new responsibility. Let them in on a project that is outside of their daily grind. Perhaps they are looking to grow, learn something new, and be developed. Ask them what their goals are and figure out a way to help them accomplish the goals. If you’re not helping your employees grow and get to where they want to be, you’re not doing your job.
  1. Set The Mood
    Maybe you’re the reason for the unmotivated season? As a leader, you set the stage and tone for the work environment. Do you do anything fun with your team? Weekly powwows, public acknowledgement of a great job someone did, team building activities, etc. can help build relationships with each other. Do you walk into work like you don’t want to be there or do you enter the room with a smile and enthusiasm? Weather you want to or not, you set the tone and work ethic for your environment—which also affects the mentality of your team. If you are work hard, follow the rules, stay optimistic about work, and express positivity and understanding, it’s proven your team will follow suit. The same goes for a negative environment. So even if you have to fake it sometimes, always try to put on your happy face.

Curious to see how you rank as a leader? Check out our WorkCompass Leadership Survey to discover your strengths and weaknesses in leadership.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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