How to Engage Your Most Uninspired Employees
Every team has uninspired employees. Heck, every social circle has them – the naysayers, the downers, the pessimists – well, you know who I’m talking about, the people we don’t particularly enjoy. Now, some managers choose to leave these gloom-and-doom employees alone. But, I argue that taking another approach might work to your better advantage.
If your employees aren’t happy, inspired, or driven to come to work each day – you have the opportunity to ignore their demeanor or identify their reasons. The reason that taking the latter approach is the better alternative for a manager is because although ignoring the employee is the easy route, it won’t get you or that employee any further in your endeavors toward success (and it won’t do the rest of your team any good either!).
3 tips to involve your most uninspired employees
1. Informally pursue one-on-one casual meetings with the employee
The best way to break someone’s bad attitude is to build a relationship with him or her. You can’t expect to know every emotion (nor should you want to, for professional reasons) your employees have, but you can challenge yourself to care about the general well-being of your employees. If they are continually distressed, dissatisfied and distracted at work – a sincere relationship with their manager might be the right medicine to engage their attention. Furthermore, once each of your reports has a relationship with you, each will have more skin in the game. And once people are personally invested in their team’s project or process, that’s when their engagement drives their excitement, which creates a positive, thriving work environment.
2. Intentionally plan team activities that revolve around team goals
If you have a few employees who aren’t connected to the greater part of your team’s clan – you can bet money that they probably aren’t collaborating with the majority of your team either. The more connected team members feel, the more collaborative they are. This doesn’t mean that every competitive streak has to be cancelled out – no, no, no… not at all! In fact, just the opposite. Sometimes, a little healthy competitive match amongst team members is exactly what each individual needs to demonstrate his/her strengths in the right setting. Through this sort of event, you might just see how intertwined one’s personal confidence and one’s professional commitment are. The more opportunities you give your employees to feel good about themselves, the greater their commitment to your team will be. The inspired and uninspired employees will all get fired up.
3. Invest in establishing good communication skills
I’m telling you now, if there’s one thing that everybody can benefit from – it’s getting better at communication. So, stock up on some top-selling books that solidify your communication skills, collaborate with a few communication consultants and mirror your favorite mentors. The worst employees that are the least engaged feel isolated – and the simplest way to engage them in the short term is to… talk to them! Sounds like common sense, right? Right. But, the problem is that most employees and managers avoid the cynics because they’re unpleasant. This strategy only perpetuates the cycle – they simply get more alone, which gives them ample more reason to withdraw their attention to and association with the rest of the team. Stop the problem where it starts – don’t hope it just suddenly goes away… because if that employee quits, your team (and you) have learned nothing.
As the old saying goes, “No man is an island.”
By the way, do you want to elevate your performance planning with employees? If so, check out this complimentary resource: Bluebook Goal and Planning Guide
Or, do you want a proven game-plan for career success? If so, check out Doug and Rick’s Superstar Leadership book.
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