One of the most difficult aspects in leading a group of people Is dealing with a loss of motivation within the group. It can be frustrating as we know a task needs to be completed but we see that no one is motivated to complete it. As author Dan Cable describes “As much as we’ve been there ourselves, sometimes it’s hard to sympathize with others who are disengaged from work and unproductive as a result. “However, while this may be true, “this type of thinking is counterproductive, and it ignores the underlying reasons why people lose their passion for what they do”, Cable then explains.
When solving a problem, it is better to get to the root of the cause and tackle the problem there, rather than just removing the symptoms. For example, rather than reprimanding individuals, try to understand how they may be feeling.
Cable states: “Exploring, experimenting, learning — this is the way we’re supposed to live and work. The problem is, too many workers aren’t able to partake in these activities because the way our organizations are run is preventing them from doing so.” People are designed to seek challenge and excitement. It is an employer’s duty to ensure the work an employee is performing is stimulating enough to keep them captivated. This stimulation will keep them engaged and motivated.
How can we ensure employees feel stimulated?
1) Allow them to be self-expressive.
Cable explains that some companies encouraged employees to create their own job titles, a move which prompted people to highlight their unique contributions to their teams. This gives employees the feeling that they are valued for their own unique skills.
Other methods can work as well. Even something as simple as trying to get to know your employees and allowing open conversation about your weekend for example, can allow them to express their personality in a simple way.
“A second way to activate people’s seeking systems is to create an experimental “safe zone” that includes play and supportive social bonding. Play not only stimulates the seeking system, it also pushes anxiety and fear back into its place” describes Cable. He states a case study done in Italy as an example:
“For example, employees in a white-goods manufacturing plant in Italy learned about lean manufacturing by playing with Legos rather than cooktops. They then experimented with transforming their own production line using the new techniques. In two weeks, the production team made lean manufacturing their own, reducing internal defects by 30% and improving productivity by 25%.”
This allowed employees to directly influence the company and feel like they were contributing something.
Give your employees a sense of purpose to keep the engaged. Allow employees to offer feedback and congratulate them for a job well-done.
Ways to do this include having suggestion boxes, meetings where employees can discuss their successes for the week and employee rewards programs like “Employee of the month.”
When employees feel like their efforts will be rewarded, they can be motivated to perform.
Following these tips can allow employers to keep their employees motivated and engaged in their positions. Employee engagement can lead to a more cohesive and healthy workplace, which will benefit everyone involved. Take your workplace to the Next Level using these tips and see how your business will soar!