Employer Branding

How to Resuscitate Employee Motivation

You’ve got the best people on board.

They can do the job like The Avengers while juggling a bunch of oranges.

But – The spark has gone. Their performance nosedived, and it feels frustrating.

You even tried Cheetos and Lava lamps to get performance numbers back up. Except it had the same effect as a fly on a windshield.

Take heart.

You’re about to learn how to reignite the spark and get energy flowing.

Let Them See the Forest for the Trees

Meet Hannah – nice clear frame glasses.

She manages ad campaigns for small business owners. She’s done Google Ads for three years and can do it blindfolded.

But – Hannah has hit a plateau. She’s bored to death because she thinks her efforts don’t have real-world impact.

The question is – How can you help Hannah get her mojo back?

Adam Grant has the answer. He’s Wharton’s top-rated professor and one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers.

Let Hannah meet several of the business owners she has helped. It doesn’t have to be for long. Five minutes does the trick.

That might not sound like much. Here’s why it works:

Hannah will see that the problem she thinks is easy is actually hard for the clients she helps. She’ll see her work matters because it helps business owners reach new customers and grow their profits.

The result?

You’ll inject the antidote for Hanna’s disengagement.

Deep inside, we all want our work to have a purpose. Otherwise, it’s just a job, and that’s not motivating.

Adjust Management Style

Sometimes, you need to give employees lots of autonomy.

Other times, you need to have your finger on the pulse to motivate them.

The problem – How to pick the right approach?

Andy Grove, a co-founder of Intel, knows.

Andy suggests that you should be either hands-off or on depending on employees’ performance.

Low-performing employees lose motivation without guidance and support.

Rockstar workers value autonomy. They have topnotch technical skillsets, and they don’t need managers to chime in as often.

On board so far? Put your party pants on:

You’re about to learn how to adjust your management approach and boost motivation.

  1. Assess employee performance.

Low Performance: Offer a lot of guidance and help. Explain what, why, and how.

Medium Performance: Provide some coaching and suggestions for improvement.

High Performance: Unplug and focus on KPIs.

  1. Get employees to self-evaluate key skills on a scale of 1 to 3 to get 360-degree data.

In the screenshot above, the scale stands for:

1: I need a lot of guidance and help.

2: I’ve got my bearings, but I could use some coaching.

3: I’m killing it. Mind your own beeswax.

Once you recalibrate your management approach, motivation will spark like a torch stick.

Provide Growth Opportunities

There’s nothing worse than being in a rut.

Hannah hates it too – She is among the 80 percent of people who jump ship if they don’t get high-quality training.


Start a personal development fund. It’ll let her learn on-tap.

Here are several ways Hannah can spend the budget and revive her motivation:

  • Sign up for an online course
  • Attend a (local) workshop
  • Get a mentor
  • Order a book online

Now – If you don’t have a training budget, shift gears.

Ask A+ players to share their wisdom and coach B players. They can do it regularly through 1:1s until motivation skyrockets.

The best part?
It’s budget friendly.

Recognize Successes

It’s a no-brainer you should recognize employees’ wins.

But – Companies spend a boatload of time and effort without getting palpable results.

Not to fret.

Here are two battle-tested ways to slash disengagement with acknowledgement:

  1. Set up a #kudos channel in Slack to recognize successes.
  1. Get employees to vote for employee of the month via Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.

Make recognition a part of your company’s DNA and see motivation rise from its own ashes.

Over to You

What’s your experience of reviving motivation? Have you recently faced office blues? Share your thought in the comments.

About the author: Max Woolf is a writer. He is passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage. In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.

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