Motivation is the driver that pushes people towards achieving their goals. Most employees are highly motivated when they start a new job, but somewhere along the way many of them begin losing sight of the positive aspects and start feeling trapped in a job that only puts bacon on the table.
Millennial employees are susceptible to motivation loss for various reasons. Unlike previous generations, they need more to be happy than social status and financial incentives. The purpose of this article is to guide you through the process of identifying unmotivated employees and helping them regain their motivation.
How to identify unmotivated employees
Unmotivated employees have lower work performance, are not so happy, and less satisfied with their jobs. As a leader, it is your responsibility to spot the employees who lost their motivation, and do your best to bring their spirits up again. Here are a few of the signs that point to low motivation in the workplace.
They never bring up new ideas
You should know that something is wrong when employees that used to pitch new ideas completely stop doing that. Most of the times, the reason is deeper than just running out of ideas, and usually signals a loss of motivation.
It’s your job to find out why that happens. Maybe their ideas got rejected too often, or you are not doing enough to encourage people.
They rarely disagree
Motivated employees are doing their best to stand out and make a name for themselves inside the company. That includes voicing their opinions, especially when they have better ideas or solutions that challenge the status quo.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that employees who rarely or never disagree during meetings or in conversations lack the motivation to do so. Maybe they believe it’s not worth the effort. Or they just don’t care strongly enough about any subject. Either way, it is a strong sign of lost motivation.
They avoid novelty
Participating in trainings and always staying on top of changes in their field is what most motivated employees do. At the opposite end, the ones who lost motivation tend to avoid learning new things, are more resistant to change, and they easily get left behind.
They lack initiative
It is almost impossible to have initiative when you lack motivation. Employees that had lost their motivation feel like there is no purpose in taking initiative. They keep their heads down and hope to be able to go through another work day without getting noticed. Such employees don’t come up with ideas, don’t initiate dialogue, and generally avoid taking any responsibility whatsoever.
They have no interest in advancing their career
It’s in the human nature to always want more. Millennial employees are especially tenacious and ambitious. Not being in the work field for a long time, they still have the drive and the willpower to aim for better positions in the company.
Help millennials keep or regain their motivation at work
In order to keep employees motivated and productive, you also need to keep them happy. But millennial employees need more to be happy than a fat paycheck at the end of the month. Here are some strategies that will help you increase happiness and motivation among your millennial employees.
Make them feel heard
Millennials are a generation that relies on communication more than any other generations throughout history. We are used to communicate anywhere, everywhere and by all means, and we express our opinions even when the consequences can be dramatic.
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial for millennial employees to feel that they are being heard. Make sure you give your employees a safe heaven to express themselves, and always hear them out when they need it.
Avoid rejecting their ideas too often
Employees whose ideas frequently get rejected are more likely to eventually give up and stop trying. For this reason, it is important for managers to consider every idea thoroughly before dismissing it, and avoid saying no too often.
From time to time, give your people the chance to go through with their ideas, even when you are not 100% confident things will work out. If it works, everybody wins. If it doesn’t, they will try harder and be more motivated to make things work next time.
Give them credit for their ideas
Let’s be honest – everybody enjoys being praised, and it’s a great satisfaction when you get credit for your good ideas. On the other hand, not getting any praise, or even worse seeing someone else getting credit for your ideas – is a major turn off, which can make even the most enthusiastic employee lose motivation.
More than anything, millennials believe in fairness and are used to functioning on rewards-based systems. So make sure you give the praise to the ones who deserve it.
Encourage them to take initiative
People can and will eventually lose their motivation if they are not encouraged to take initiative. Empowering your employees and encouraging them to take responsibility will help them stay active, motivated, and willing to do more.
You can do that by setting up incentives, and organizing contests that sparkle healthy competition. Encouraging people to stay in the middle of the action will definitely boost their motivation.
Include them in the decision making process
Nothing breaks the spirit of a person like following orders all day long, and doing what you’re told without having a saying in the way things work. No matter how democratic a company is, there is still a hierarchy that situates some people lower than others. Those at the bottom of the pyramid usually feel they have no control over their work, which makes them feel less motivated.
Avoid that by running monthly surveys, or organizing meetings to ask for everyone’s opinions, especially when the decisions about to be made are going to affect their lives.
Give their work a higher meaning
Meaningful work is the highest motivation for millennial employees. People experiencing meaningful work are happier and healthier than their peers who only work for a paycheck. Having a sense of purpose that is higher than oneself is something that everyone needs.
Make sure that your company has a mission and makes a statement that means more for the community than just making profit. Everybody dreams of giving back, so you need to emphasize how they can do that by working for your company.
Make motivation loss a thing of the past
To sum things up, the first step is identifying those employees who had lost their motivation. Have an open dialogue and find out what is it that makes them unhappy.
Finally, apply the strategies discussed above both to help your unmotivated millennial employees regain their motivation, and to prevent others from losing it. Let us know how it works by posting a comment in the section below.