6 Effective Ways to Motivate a Passive Employee

Motivation is key to success on so many levels. Learning to motivate others, is a critical skill. Happy to share this guest post by Angeline Lecerio

The truth is that almost all employees fall into some degree of being passive in their working lifetime. Direct superiors’ skills often get tested when they are trying to get passive employees to perform better at work.

To be clear, passive employees are not necessarily bad for the company. This just means that more often than not, these employees need more than just the usual nudge from their managers to have a productive day at work.

What passive really is.

Leaders often think of passive employees as employees that need a push towards the right direction, which in this case, towards productivity. Inactive employees will often tell their managers what they wanted to hear just to get along. In fact, passive employees can be trusted like clockwork to just go about their tasks with nothing more and less. Simply put, they would not put in that extra effort but can still get the job done.

Just because it’s not a bad thing does not mean that leaders can just let it go and also be passive about it. There are simple, effective, and proven ways to motivate passive employees in your work. Below are six of the most effective ways of getting employees engaged and being more productive in their respective tasks.

Level the ‘paying’ field

It may sound like a pun, but it makes a lot of sense. This means that there are industry standards for pay in a specific category of workers — being passive starts to creep its way in when your employees realise that they are being paid less than the average grade in their position. As soon as they realise this, it can be tough to get them to perform at their peak. 

If, for some reason, the budget dictates very little wiggle room in terms of salary increases, companies often compensate with non-monetary perks. The point is that when employees perceive that they are being given value, productivity will increase as they feel happier in their work. One of the easiest ways to improve morale in the workplace is by merely aligning your company’s salary grid to the industry standard. 

Opportunities for self-improvement

Passive employees who are given a glimpse of their potential achievements can be valuable assets to a company as they work their way towards their goals. Having your team attend skills training, even simple ones, can remove passivity and nip any long term problems in the bud. Employees that show potential are prime candidates for leadership training, and giving them the opportunity will not only provide motivation to that particular employee but their co-workers as well.

Providing training to your employees is a win for everybody, often improving morale and productivity. Training does not just deal with a worker’s attitude towards his or her work, but you are substantially upgrading your workforce. Corporate training will allow them to move forward with their careers and start to aspire for more. 

Maintain open communication

An approachable and open communication policy in the office will often keep management up to date on the office’s latest goings-on. This is a valuable tool in keeping the pulse on your workforce so that you can react accordingly. However, the real purpose of fostering open communication is to show your team members that you and the company he or she represents genuinely care about employees’ welfare. 

Open communication tells them that what they say matters. By hearing employees’ suggestions, you engage them and make them feel included. As a leader or superior, you can encourage questions and try to provide answers that will enable them to perform their work more effectively. Gathering input does not necessarily mean listening to each, and every one of your employees tells you about their day. There are other means of getting them, such as during meetings. When you get inputs, make sure to brush up or follow up on them when you get an opportunity. This will make employees feel that you listened to them, even if you did not actually solve all their problems.

Be a leader, not a boss

Almost all of us have experienced working for that nightmare of a boss, so make sure that your employees will not experience the same thing under your leadership. In short, make sure that you would be someone that you would want to work for. A miserable manager can influence the way a workplace feels and can spoil everyone’s day fast.

A leader is always on the positive side of things. If you want to inspire your team, be the example of what a leader should be. A manager sets the mood and tone for how the day will go at the office. Keeping that good vibe going at work reduces stress, and when you are approachable, employees will feel that they can tell you things that may impact the day to day operations in the office. They will feel confident to disclose any challenges and in turn, you can act on these challenges before they turn into huge problems.

Encourage team bonding

Positive employee relations are among the most effective ways to motivate employees. There are a lot of activities you and your team can prepare to make sure that the team bonds on a slightly more personal level. A simple dinner or a night out once a month can do wonders for the morale of your team members. This will also allow you to manage internal conflicts quite easily because you can communicate with your team effectively. 

Team activities also help employees feel that the company values healthy work-life balance. A company that respects work-life balance is something rare, and that alone can refocus anyone who is being demotivated at work.

Appreciation can do wonders

Appreciation does not mean heaping praise on every single task your associates do as it’s just impossible and counter-productive to do so. Always appreciate in public and reprimand in private. One does not always have to do it daily, but make sure to find the time to commend team members for their achievements.

This is based on the very essential human psychology trait itself, the need to be appreciated. People love to be appreciated. Thanking an employee, or acknowledging his or her contribution to the team can do miracles in improving that person’s productivity.

Final words

Employee motivation is not something management can sweep under the rug. Just following a few of the tips above can help bring about a noticeable change among your employees. Cultivating enthusiasm and motivating employees should be on the list of any company’s priorities because it is their teams that will allow them to achieve significant growth and success.

Author Bio: Angeline Licerio is a content writer for Elevate Corporate Training. Like the rest of her teammates at Elevate, Angeline believes that she can help create better bottom lines, happier and healthier staff, and build communities where people engage with each other in high functioning relationships.

Irene Becker | www.justcoachit.com | Build Your 3Q Edge