(Guest post by C.Joseph Richards)

 Don't give up on demotivated employees just yet

Employee engagement is a vital part of any business and can determine the efficiency of operations within a company. Companies being made of teams and teams made of individuals, it is important that each and every person is pulling his or her weight in order to reach the common goal. The number one killer of employee engagement is lack of individual motivation.

An unmotivated employee not only fails to perform his own duties, but also affects the people around him and, in the long run, cause possibly irreversible damage. In this case, one bad apple can truly spoil the bunch.

Before you fire someone, though, there are some things you can do in an attempt to spark some ambition.  Chances are he is good at what he does but, for one reason or another, has lost the drive to get things done. Each and every person has a unique personality and background and requires different motivation than others to achieve success.

Specific Tasks and Deadlines

People are often driven by goals and are more likely to achieve something if they have laid it out ahead of time. Providing an employee with specific tasks and deadlines will give him a sense of urgency. Furthermore, it can give him a feeling of ownership and entitlement over those tasks and make him want to complete them.

Provide Opportunities to Shine

Employees often burnout because they feel they are not able to reach their full potential in the position they hold. Recognizing a person’s strengths and abilities and assigning tasks accordingly will give him a chance to shine.

Along the same lines, giving an employee a challenge that allows him to think critically and creatively can make the work less boring. Just like in school, people who are given assignments that are too easy will feel less inclined to get them done or will blow them off completely. It is human nature to rise to a challenge, causing a person to push himself to new heights.

In the same vein, schools that motivate students by setting high expectations and focusing on relationships have high rates of success and lower dropout rates.

Encourage Communication

In any aspect of life, simple communication can solve a great deal of problems. Being able to voice your concerns to an employee and encouraging feedback from him is one of the biggest things you can do for him and for yourself. Half of the battle when it comes to lack of motivation is figuring out its roots.

Listen to most anything he has to say and make him feel as though he is a part of something, and not just a cog in the machine. Trust plays an important role, and making sure an employee knows that can light a fire underneath him.

Team collaboration can promote communication as well and more driven individuals can motivate an employee who is apathetic. The are numerous tools to help teams collaborate easily and efficiently.

Rewards and Incentives

As mentioned earlier, people find motivation in different places. Some are simply not motivated by the satisfaction of getting something done. Offering a chance to earn rewards will encourage the whole team to get done what they need to. These incentives can be simple things like a lunch on the manager or getting off of work early one day.

Demotivated employees can often distract others and cause overall loss of productivity across the board. Not only this, but the disengagement of one employee can cause others to also become unmotivated, as well.

Curbing the problem before it becomes a larger issue is key. The success of a company depends largely on employee happiness and a positive company culture; those who have lost their drive can cause both to fall short.

Author Bio: C. Joseph Richards is a part time student and works full time at an internet marketing firm in Boise, Idaho. In his free time, he enjoys researching business, school, and career related subjects and is trying to share his knowledge, one blog post at a time.

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