Motivation and satisfaction… They go together like bacon and eggs, franks and beans, death and taxes, love and marriage. Thus, entrepreneurs often find themselves walking the delicate balance between the two, keeping their measures of carrot and stick equally distributed amongst their workforce. When productivity is on the wan and employees aren’t as enthusiastic or motivated as they should be, it can be a cause of great consternations for entrepreneurs whose businesses (and even their livelihoods) can be affected by poor productivity. It can be all too easy to panic, to fall into a pattern of self-loathing or take it as a slight on themselves and their businesses.
It’s not about you… But maybe it should be
Poor employee motivation and engagement are easy to take personally, but they very seldom are. There are many factors that may influence a lack of motivation. If an employee is struggling it could be because they’re experiencing personal problems, financial worries, issues with another member of staff or a host of mental health issues including Seasonal Affective Disorder. While you likely won’t be the cause of a lack of motivation, it is incumbent upon you to be the solution.
Although different employees react to various stimuli in different ways, the first task lies in spotting with the telltale signs that an employee may be falling out of love with their job. When these have been identified they can be addressed in a way that is beneficial for you, the employee and your organization. These may include;
Roadworks, bad traffic, a rough night before… there are many reasons why lateness might occur but chronic lateness can be a sign that motivation is on the decline. While chronic lateness, especially amongst frontline employees can be infuriating, if you have an employee who’s consistently late, it’s important to play it delicately. The employer may have trouble sleeping for any number of reasons or suffer from depression which seriously compromises their ability to get out of bed in the morning. Encourage them to talk honestly with you about the cause of their lateness while incentivizing punctuality for the whole workforce.
Messy desks (or desktops)
A messy desk is a sign of a disorganized mind, and however much people with messy desks protest that they “work better” under these conditions, rarely is a messy desk conducive to productivity. It pays to have measures in place to help gauge productivity throughout the day. This will allow you to challenge your employee’s protestations that a messy desk genuinely helps them to work.
They don’t feel rewarded
Ensuring that employees feel rewarded is a never ending battle for entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, nobody can expect productivity from an employee with no incentive to be productive. Thus your performance incentives should be under constant review. In a paperless world, it also helps to allow employees to use a pay stub maker. This will help them to quantify their achievement.
They lack challenge
Some employees thrive under pressure, but all employees benefit from a sense of challenge in their work. Not only does it encourage them to be at their best, it also encourages creative problem solving skills and higher order thinking which makes work more enjoyable while ensuring that the days pass quicker.