Employee Motivation

10 Ways to Focus on Your Unmotivated Employees this Year

Can your organization have unambitious employees who are striving to realize their personal goals? Are you ok with people who come to work for the sake of fulfilling their tasks to obtain monetary benefits? Most definitely not! As we begin to gain momentum to turn this New Year into a much more productive one than the last (especially with regard to employee performance management), ensure that you face no distinct roadblocks; particularly those created by your own unmotivated employees.

That being so, let us take a look at what motivation really means and the 10 best ways to motivate unproductive employees.


What is Motivation?

Motivation is an inner feeling that stimulates a person to achieve his/her desired goals. It triggers a behavior impelling a person to act.


Why is motivation important?

Motivation is the fuel that brings employees into action. It helps to increase productivity, reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. It also improves the organization’s reflection and prompts employee’s acceptance to change.


Who is an Unproductive Employee?

An unproductive employee is one who does not add to the growth and profitability of the organization. This may be due to reasons such as lack of opportunities, communication issues, less feedback, equity, enthusiasm, etc.

Nevertheless, motivation plays a vital role in the growth of an organization. Hence, it is imperative to inspire those unmotivated employees.


How to motivate unproductive employees?

A manager’s work does not get over with just the hiring process. In fact, the work of the manager begins after the hiring process. It is his/her duty to instill positivity and enthusiasm among unfruitful employees.


Let us take a look at some of the ways to motivate these unproductive employees:


  • Every employee is different: Taking a step towards understanding the employees working in your team is every manager’s responsibility. Each employee is unique and so are their needs and desires. Taking this into account, the manager should handle the related motivational issues in an appropriate manner.


  • One-on-One session: An organization can grow, in terms of profitability and vision, if one-way communication is avoided and two-way communication is promoted. It’s the duty of the manager to have one-on-one sessions with the unproductive employees. This way, the manager will be able to take into account their complaints and solve their grievances, if any, on time.


  • Short-term and uncomplicated goals: One of the reasons for unproductivity among employees is the lack of interest to do monotonous work. Short term goals and proper division of responsibility will be a relief, as the employees get to do several jobs in time, in turn, adding to their professional experience. This way, the employees will not be bored and consequently, will excel in different areas.


  • Provide Opportunities: Among the many reasons why an employee remains inactive or unproductive is the lack of opportunities given to him/her. Some employees are capable of doing wonders but are held back due to inadequate opportunities. Managers should try to provide equivalent opportunities to employees so that they can proudly prove their capabilities and ensure productivity.


  • Right person on the right job: Most of the time, employees feel disinterested at work because their interests lie somewhere else. The manager should try to understand the actual passion of his/her employees so that he/she is able to provide them with the right opportunities.


  • Link rewards to employee performance: Employees should be rewarded instantly after achieving their assigned goals. The manager should publicize the award for a great performance to push the employees to perform even better in future. Bonus, financial incentives, gifts, promotions, etc. can act as a real allurement among unproductive employees.


  • Training: Training is a process wherein various tools are used to make the employees understand their work/task. It will help those employees that are a step behind others to comprehend their work better and excel in areas where they lag behind.


  • Equality among employees: Manager should treat all his/her employees equally. All employees should be given equal opportunities to perform and prove themselves. Biases based on any undesired factors should be completely avoided. An important trait of good leaders is the ability to keep separate their personal lives from their professional lives.


  • Create Enthusiasm: All employees have the right to feel wanted. Simultaneously, they like to be kept busy and engrossed in some project or the other. But as the proverb goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”  Therefore, a joyful moment at work or timely breaks in between busy schedules will encourage the employees to rejuvenate themselves and return to work with a fresh mind.


  • Feedback: After the hard work that every employee puts in, he/she would like to hear a word or two of appreciation. This will boost the employees to perform better and give their 100%. The manager should try to give continuous feedback to employees. Both good and bad performance should be communicated to the respective employees, helping them to take necessary measures to improve their performance.


Every organization has unproductive employees. These employees need to be handled accurately before it is too late.

As said by Allen, “Poorly motivated people can nullify the soundest organization”.


(P.S. Synergita offers an exclusive ‘Employee Engagement Survey’ to get to the depths of the engagement level of employees in your organization.)

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