Do you have an employee or co-worker who doesn’t seem to be motivated no matter how much you try to engage them? There are many tips and strategies I could share with you that have helped me and others with this but I’ve distilled it down to 3 main points that make a huge difference. These work regardless of whether the person reports to you or not, or how long you’ve been working with them. Here they are…
1. Building rapport and trust – This is the first place to start if you want to increase someone’s level of engagement. This means taking a genuine interest in them without having any hidden agenda (as you know, people can tell when you do). One of our basic human needs is to feel seen, heard and understood so you’re probably not going to get to the bottom of the reason for the disengagement if you don’t take a sincere interest in the person first with the goal of just wanting to get to know them and help them. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes to chat with them and find out how their day is. You could have coffee or lunch with them. Find out what they’re passionate about, what their interests are, etc.
2. How do they feel about the work they do – Once you’ve built that level of trust and rapport, it will be easier for them to open up to you about what they do and don’t enjoy about their job. They may have challenges you were not aware of. Maybe there are a few team members who make their job difficult. The goal is not just to lend an ear but also to ask yourself how you can help them. The next thing is to find out what they love about their work or what work they would prefer to be doing. Here again, you may be able to help. You may also just ask them what motivates them to do their job, or what makes their job frustrating. Then ask how you can help.
3. Praise and Gratitude – We all want to feel appreciated and valued for the work we do and we want people to acknowledge us and our efforts much more than highlight ‘growth opportunities’ so look for ways to sincerely thank them and praise them for the work they do. The more you do this (being as specific as possible when you explain the difference they make), the easier it will be for you to provide feedback to them in terms of areas of improvement. Some examples of this are a sincere email, thanking them in person, recognizing them at meetings, or doing something else as a token of your gratitude.
We all feel appreciated in different ways and not everyone accepts gratitude in the same way. I would like to recommend Gary Chapman’s book ‘The 5 Love Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace’ to help you easily identify the best way your team member likes to be appreciated. According to Dr. Chapman 70% of people say they receive no praise or recognition at work. It’s time to change that. It’s not only up to our bosses to do this but it is something we can all do for each other to create a better work environment.
If you found this helpful, you may enjoy the Facebook Live video I did in my group yesterday that explains these tips in a bit more detail and includes some examples from my own experience. You can check it out here:
To your success…