For some reason, your profits have been down. For some reason, your workplace feels different from how it used to. For some reason, you get the feeling that everyone in your office lacks the motivation to excel.
Every manager should be adept at monitoring his or her workforce for changes, especially negative ones, but only especially good managers are able to understand exactly why those changes are taking place. One of the worst maladies to befall a workplace is a deterioration of motivation ― but it is also one of the hardest problems to diagnose. Here are five signs and solutions to help you combat low motivation in your office and become the best manager you can possibly be.
The 5 Symptoms
Not every workforce behaves the same: Some are casual while others are traditional; some are egalitarian while others are strictly tiered. At the best of times, managers can easily recognize when their employees are performing well. However, when motivation disappears from the office, nearly every workforce begins to look the same. In particular, workers start to:
- Decrease productivity. Projects drag on for longer than they should; workers procrastinate and miss deadlines; less gets done every day.
- Produce low-quality work. The few complete projects are riddled with errors; creativity and innovation vanish; customers complain frequently.
- Start conflict. Tensions from managers and between co-workers thicken; projects and relationships suffer.
- Be absent. Workers call in sick more often; seats are often empty around the office; other workers must complete tasks that are not among their responsibilities.
- Leave. Workers do not provide notice of resignation; the rates of turnover rise steeply; costs of recruitment increase.
The 5 Remedies
Eventually, if left unchecked, a widespread lack of motivation causes organizations to crumble. Unenthused workers wreak havoc, scaring customers away with poor service and ruining the reputation of the business. Therefore, whenever one of these symptoms appears, you must act swiftly with the following treatments. Managers should:
- Listen. Workers prefer personal connections with superiors, and though you may feel the need to lecture all day, what they might need instead is a compassionate ear.
- Appreciate. Workers put in long hours at the office, when they could be spending their time and energy doing something they love with family and friends. You should recognize this sacrifice.
- Support. Plenty of workers have amazing ideas to improve the business, but they need support to explore their creativity. You should encourage them while supervising their efforts.
- Influence. Worker see, worker do: You should always lead by example, which may mean becoming extra motivated to help your subordinates.
- Give hope. When organizations aren’t loyal to their workers, workers have no reason to be loyal back, but by promoting from within and providing raises, you can give workers optimism.
An Emergency Cure
When lack of motivation has grown too much before managers have intervened and reversed the damage, organizations must step in with emergency action. Like a surgeon cutting out a cancerous tumor, a motivational speaker has the knowledge, training, and experience to locate the precise reasons behind the workforce’s lack of motivation and resolve them without damage to the company as a whole.
However, not all professional speakers are equal, and you may need to do some searching to locate the speaker who has the tools necessary to reinvigorate your workforce. You can read more about the specific speakers available (as well as other corporate event planning tricks) on the Leading Authorities blog.
A Prevention Plan
Once you finally cure your business’s lack of motivation, you probably don’t ever want it to come back. Fortunately, business experts have developed a handful of preventative techniques that help organizations keep their workers focused and satisfied. In particular, companies should:
- Forget the money. Money and benefits constitute workers’ basic needs, but giving them more money and benefits doesn’t necessarily make them happier. Most workers need other incentives to stay motivated.
- Treat everyone fairly. Workers are finely attuned to justice in the workplace, and any whiff of unfairness in corporate policies or individual treatment will lead to dissatisfaction and minimal efforts.
- Be consistent. Similarly, managers, directors, and the company at large must be aligned in their goals for workers. Inconsistency is confusing, and confusion leads to stress and lack of motivation.