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Monday 12th June 2017

MOTIVATION: How to help your people reclaim their mojo

Most businesses are run and operated by many people. Some tens, hundreds and even tens of thousands of individuals turn the cogs of the operating wheel that is a business. In an ideal world each of these individuals will be working to their full potential; utilising all their skills, knowledge and prowess to drive the company forward. But we don’t live in an ideal world and unfortunately we often come across employees who have lost their motivation and are no longer inspired by the work they are doing.

The loss of motivation in an employee is a damaging thing as it is motivation which drives us to get out of bed in the morning and work hard throughout the day. Whether in a low or high salary role, we all still need motivation to work to our full potential. It’s why new entrepreneurs strive to continue even if the financial rewards are not yet there; they are motivated by a driving factor that is more than just money.

Motivating people is part of any leadership role; the ability to enthuse someone to work for a company’s cause is a skill not to be underestimated. The best leaders have fine-tuned this skill but anyone can improve their ability to motivate people. It helps to look at the following points:

Why have they lost motivation?
The first step is to look at the reason the employee in question has lost their motivation, as that’s the only way you’ll be able to improve the situation. Have there been changes in the business that affect their role? Are they reporting into someone new? Has the nature of their work changed? Has technology or new systems mean the way they do their work has changed? Is their work no longer challenging to them? Is there something happening in their personal life which is affecting the way they work?

There are a number of reasons why people become demotivated at work and the above are just some ideas. Perhaps start with brainstorming this and then having a one to one with the employee where you can tactfully discuss the issue.

MOTIVATION: How to help your people reclaim their mojo

What drives them?
Finding out what drives people is important if you want them to stay motivated. Maybe they are a person who constantly needs new challenges or perhaps they are extremely passionate about coaching and mentoring people. You’ll only find this out by talking to them and once you have this intel you can help shape their role and working environment to reflect this.

Management style
Your leaders can be a great asset when it comes to motivating staff but they can also be a obstruction. There are certain leadership styles which are known to motivate people and there are certain behaviours which are sure to make people feel demotivated. Have your management team been trained to work with a style that is likely to motivate and inspire?

Driving workplace performance from a position of fear is not going to be effective long-term. That will only decrease motivation over time and have the opposite effect that you want for your team. It creates a poor company culture which could mean you suffer in future with recruiting and retaining quality staff.

Many studies have proved that people are much more motivated when they have autonomy in their roles so another hindrance to look out for is micromanaging. This is extremely demotivating and can lead to employees losing enthusiasm for their work. There is a huge distinction between coaching and micro-managing so make sure your leaders know the difference.

Is there a way to reclaim it?
Once an employee is disenfranchised, is there a way to get them motivated again? I think there is, but it has to be managed correctly. The first thing to establish is whether this is an individual case of demotivation or whether it is team/company-wide. That will give you an indication as to whether it’s a leadership/company culture problem or not. If it’s an individual case, work with the employee in question to identify their personal motivators and see how you can adapt their role or circumstances to increase their motivation. If it is a company-wide problem, you are looking at a longer journey in trying to change your company culture and train your leaders to motivate and inspire.

Rush Talent Collective provides training and coaching in leadership, team development and wellbeing.

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