Sunday, March 16, 2014

Motivate Unhappy Employees

No one likes to manage unhappy employees. They can be tough to motivate and resistant to change. In addition, unhappy employees can negatively affect team and organizational performance. However, giving up isn't the solution. Being a true leader means getting the most out of your team no matter what the situation.

Here are 3 ideas to help you invigorate unhappy employees:
Work to Inspire
Employees sometimes lose their focus at work. Maybe they aren't sure what is expected of them or what the goal of the organization is. Your responsibility is to help them get a better understanding of these things. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings. Take the time to ensure that they know what they should be doing on their project, or maybe when their next deadline is. Explain why their work is important. Spending quality time with your employees and giving them a chance to talk out their thoughts allows you to see issues before they get too big, or even develop at all.

Develop Them
Resolving some issues may be as simple as giving an employee a more challenging project. Set expectations high so they'll become more invested in their assignment. A work environment without challenges, and their associated successes upon completion, can easily lead to boredom. That can turn a happy employee into an unhappy one.

Send the employee to a class to learn a new skill or technique. Allow them to attend a seminar. These are great ways to motivate people. Having something new to learn and bring back to share with others can motivate not just the individual employee. It can motivate the entire team and foster a stronger team bond.

Break the Tension
Take them to lunch. Managers tend to spend more time with people they like, but you may make your unhappy employees feel excluded. Make an effort to evenly spread your attention around.

For the overworked employee, grant some time off. Employees like to have a few extra hours or an extra day to recharge after (or during) a big effort, especially when it’s not part of their standard compensation. Just make sure it doesn't turn into an expectation for them or it could turn into a bigger problem for you.

For employees with a long or expensive commute, allow them to occasionally work from home if the nature of their work can be performed remotely. However, tell them your performance expectations, and make sure you measure their work results to ensure they are as productive working from home as working from within the office.

Create a workplace culture that’s conducive to overall employee satisfaction. When you see that an employee is unhappy, take quick action to improve their demeanor and performance.

David Schuchman

4 comments:

  1. David, you are right on the money. Happy employees bring happy customers and THAT is or should be every business person's ultimate goal.
    Alex

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  2. My best boss did all three. Most important for me is #2. I love challenges, and my supervisors always knew that. I didn't get too many classes, cause they would drop software on my desk and tell me I had 2 weeks to learn it. LOL I love the challenges!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, Steve. The great observation you have is that the best boss's will have the ability to see the need to apply any or all of these techniques.

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