7 Creative Ways to Deal with Demotivated Employees

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

7 Creative Ways to Deal with Demotivated Employees

It’s an unrealistic goal to expect your employees to give out 100% every single day at work. The reality is, even your most motivated employee can lose their exuberance over time. While slow days at work is normal, it can affect office productivity. 

Demotivated employees not only produce less work, but they also have the power to influence the office morale and drag other employees down. Statistics show that around 18% of American workers are unhappy and unproductive at work, while 52% perform without enthusiasm or care. 

Don’t fret. Whether you’re working with a recruitment agency in the Philippines or standing on your own feet, there are various ways you can do to turn the workplace mood and morale around. Let’s get started!

1. Establish a strong and proactive leadership

Make sure to establish your organizational objective to keep everyone aligned. This approach of leadership will drive employees to contribute to that common goal and, at the same time, inspire engagement with one another to fast track their progress. 

For instance, if you have a project that involves several people in your team, become the key motivator in engaging them with their duties. The same approach applies when problems arise while working on a project (i.e. short on time). You can ask your team members for efficient and effective solutions to make improvements. This establishes that you’re listening to their ideas, and you’re willing to work with them to resolve their predicaments.

2. Seek two-way communication

You must open all channels of communication so your employees can reach out whenever they need you. Likewise, you need to reach out to them to find out what motivates them to work harder and feel better (e.g., public recognition, flextime perks, etc.). Be more approachable and hear out their ideas. This makes them feel more valued, capable, and confident at work. 

Moreover, it’s always nice to engage and see if there’s anything you can do to help employees perform better at work. For instance, you can allow them to take a quick time off during the day or offer work from home (or anywhere) incentives to stimulate creativity.

3. Perform as a role model

Effective leaders establish trust through their actions, not just words. You can say anything, like “respect goes both ways” and that “integrity is important,” but these won’t mean anything if you don’t walk the talk. 

You can show them that you value integrity by demonstrating it in the workplace, such as addressing the problems within your team and solving them together, or taking responsibility for citing the wrong deadline rather than throwing your members under the bus. If you want to see certain behaviors or values practiced in your team, you have to demonstrate it yourself.

4. Aim for transparency

Is there something going on within the company that possibly contributes to the unenthusiastic vibe in the office? It’s common for employees or teams to feel less eager to work when a rumor or something negative is brewing in the office, such as if someone’s about to get fired or bonus cuts due to financial losses. 

If you sense anything like this, it’s better to put out any misinformation from spreading like wildfire by being transparent and open about any changes. While you’re at it, end your remarks with exciting opportunities they can look forward to in the future.

5. Show genuine interest

One way to display genuine interest is to actively listen when speaking with your employees. You must get to know them to find out what parts of their job they like the most, their underused skills, what slows them down, their hobbies and interests, etc. You may not get the right answers if you don’t ask the right questions, which you can only come up with if you listen to them intently. 

Additionally, this should give you a sense of how burned out they are. This way, you can see what you can do to alleviate their stress and inspire a spark within them.

6. Introduce the Platinum Rule

One way you can make things better in the office when employees are feeling less motivated is to practice the Platinum Rule—treat others as they want to be treated when they’re around. Everyone’s different; your employees work differently than others, so you can’t treat them all the same way. 

For instance, public commendation may motivate one employee to perform better, but being the center of attention may not work for another. Meanwhile, a free cup of coffee is enough of a motivation booster for some. Great managers are flexible and good at reading people. They adjust their behavior and management styles according to each employee’s goals, motivations, and learning styles.

7. Avoid arrogance

Many factors can kill one’s motivation, one of which is having a hoity-toity boss or manager. Excellent managers don’t walk around the office with their chins up as though they’re better than everyone else because they don’t think that way. 

Great managers are humble, and they see their leadership position as carrying more accountability for being responsible to their team members. When you show your team that they can reach out to you anytime for help and that you’re with them every step of the way, they’ll be encouraged to work hard.

Summing It Up

Keep in mind that overworking your employees will only cause burn out. The best leaders and managers shape workplace conditions for high performance through great support and good organizational practices. 

At the end of the day, there’s no exact formula that can turn the unmotivated to motivated, but these are some of the ways you can do to realign your demotivated employees’ perspective and boost team productivity.