During a recent coaching call, Linda sighed and revealed, “Ugh, I just feel so unmotivated at work right now!” Gloomy skies and work-from-home isolation can sure give you the blahs. Just getting up in the morning can seem like a major accomplishment.
But we all know people on the opposite end of the spectrum, who seize each day with endless energy, focus, and drive. What do they have that Linda lacks?
The answer lies with engagement. Employees who are engaged in their work are motivated to act.
Linda is not alone in being unmotivated and disengaged. A recent Gallup Study on employee engagement reveals that:
- 54% of employees say they are “not engaged” in their jobs
- 17% of employees say they are “actively disengaged”
- 29% of employees report that they are “actively engaged” in their jobs
The larger question is why. Why are employees like Linda disengaged and unmotivated? To answer that, we must understand that engagement and motivation go hand in hand.
Employees who are engaged in their work are motivated to act.
Engagement is defined as “the energy, effort, and initiative employees bring to their jobs.” Engagement means encouraging employees to have a passion for their work. Engaged employees see their organization as more than a place to earn money.
Motivation is “the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.” Motivation is what causes us to act. It involves the biological, emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate behavior.
So, what can leaders do to ensure that employees like Linda remain motivated and engaged?
- Clearly Define Your Vision. Make sure to communicate your vision to employees, and that they understand the steps you and they will be taking.
- Give Employees the Tools They Need. Do not just assume that each of your employees is receiving all the tools, training, and support they need from their supervisors. Check with them personally and find out.
- Communicate Constantly. Perhaps the most important part of a good manager’s job is communicating effectively. Creating a culture of communication in which managers and employees share common goals and work together can make a good company great and turn around a non-performing company. Use email, newsletters, training sessions, and all-hands meetings to present your vision to your employees. Make sure to ask questions, and if they are confused, explain it differently.
- Get everyone engaged. Figure out a way to get all your employees engaged in planning and decision-making. This way, the project becomes their baby and something they want to make a success. Ask for input and use their ideas as much as possible so they have a vested interest in seeing the project through. This can not only empower and motivate employees but can lead to new and more productive ways of working that might otherwise be overlooked.
Building engagement in your workplace is a deliberate but rewarding process. Contact me if you’d like a little help.
Sherri Miller, Founder & CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success