5 Steps for Motivating Disengaged Employees

Claudia Jeffrey

06 October 2020

Employees lack motivation for numerous reasons—maybe they aren’t connected to the organization’s purpose or are overworked and burned out. Whatever the reason, companies suffer when employees are disengaged. 

According to a 2017 Gallup study, nearly 70 percent of employees reported feeling disengaged at work, leading to higher turnover. But leaders have the ability to motivate team members before they start underperforming.

Put yourself in your employees’ shoes and try to find the source for why they are disengaged, then make the necessary changes and empower them.

Featured Resource: Leadercast 2020—Ripple Effect

New call-to-action

With remote work on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a motivated and engaged workforce matters more than ever. Here are five things leaders can do to boost motivation among disengaged employees. 

1. Build healthy relationships with every team member.

Socialization allows leaders to know the preexisting beliefs and values of employees, which means they will be able to know the exact reason why the employee isn't meeting his or her potential. Get to know the likes, dislikes, fears and strengths of your employees so you know what motivates them and what doesn’t sit well with them. 

2. Communicate expectations.

Leaders must state their vision and expectations so team members know what they’re working toward. Often, leaders aren’t clear on exactly what they want, and later the results are unsatisfactory. Clarity is the strongest ally of result-oriented performance, so make sure your team members know the bar they’re expected to meet, and encourage them along the way.

3. Assign tasks relevant to each individual. 

Another reason behind declined motivation is when employees are not assigned the relevant tasks. You'll see great improvements when employees do the jobs that play to their strengths and are aligned with their nature and interests. Never put your team members in a vulnerable situation by assigning them something that plays to their weaknesses with no potential for growth. 

4. But do challenge them. 

When you know your employees interests, you can push them out of their comfort zones to try things they’ll enjoy after they get past the learning curve. A person never develops by remaining in his or her comfort zone. Communication is crucial here, too. To lead employees past their comfort zones, you need to serve as a support system and help them as they navigate the challenges and frustrations that can come with learning something new. Help them understand that it is important to explore new ventures.

5. Let people know their worth.

When people don’t feel valued by a company or its leaders, motivation quickly deteriorates. Find ways to show employees they are valued and communicate it often. Tell them when they do a good job and that you appreciate their individual efforts on collaborative tasks. Offering perks and rewards based on merit and performance also helps—bonuses, raises, promotions, etc. are instant motivation boosters.  

There never is a surefire way to motivate unmotivated employees, but what can be done is applying more tactics and techniques to enhance the level of motivation. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes and try to find the source for why they are disengaged, then make the necessary changes and empower them.

Learn more about Claudia Jeffrey as she shares her leadership tips at Crowd Writer. 

Claudia Jeffrey

Claudia Jeffrey is an accomplished content strategist at Crowd Writer, a platform for dissertation help. She has an incredible reputation for producing quality articles for different niches. She likes to share her thoughts with influential blogs and regularly shares tips for leaders to keep employees engaged.

Subscribe to our leadership content