In a previous post, we talked about the different things you can do to keep yourself motivated at work. But what happens when others in your team are the ones that need motivation? It is always difficult to work with someone that is not as committed or as excited about the job and tasks as we are. It can be exhausting if you feel like you are pulling all the leg work while your coworker is not. Today I would like to talk about what we can do to motivate our coworkers.
The core of an organization is getting business and work done. However, we are working with human beings just like us. So, if someone under your wing or in your team is not completing their job successfully or is not showing motivation, listen to them. Take the time to talk and approach this issue from a comprehensive point of view. You want to understand if the lack of motivation is coming from something work-related or if it’s their personal life affecting their work.
Another thing that you need to listen to is their input and ideas. Sometimes employees and coworkers lose their motivation because they feel they are not being heard. They feel like their input is not important. Involved everyone in your team in the planning and decision-making processes. Encourage collaborative projects. Let your team members present their ideas. Allow them to work and develop these ideas. Thank them for their ideas and time. This will help them find their inspiration and recover their motivation at work.
Be an Example
Ever since we are born we tend to mirror behaviors. It is in our nature and is key to survival. Albert Bandura and Konrad Lorenz both explained vicarious learning and imprinting behaviors. But I want to bring them to the table on this subject. If we have a positive attitude at work and get our job done, we will influence others around us. Getting the job done effectively will most likely translate into positive consequences, such as commissions, getting praised, or achieving a raise. This will make other people in our team want to do more.
Do not push
Yeah, I just said you want to be an example. However, people really do not enjoy having a pushy colleague or boss. Everyone gets the job done at their own pace. Everyone solves their issues at their own pace. If you feel like regardless of what you are doing to try and motivate your coworkers, they are still not motivated, give them space. Sometimes that is all that we need. Maybe they need some time off to try and find their motivation back. Maybe they need some time to work from another space to release social tensions that may be lingering at the workplace.
You must never push change. Social and human changes always need to happen naturally. You want to respect other people’s processes and times while also trying to keep the business afloat. And this is completely linked to the first aspect I discussed. You need to understand what the source of the problem is. This will help you design or plan a solution to motivate this coworker.
Focus on their strenghts
It is okay if someone falls behind every now and then. It is okay if we are not our best selves 24/7. We are humans, we go through stuff. If someone in your team is not motivated enough it may be because they feel like their job is lacking. If that is the reason, make sure to understand this is it, validate their emotions. And then start pointing out what their strengths are. I really do not like giving personal examples, however, I will take the time to do so.
I have been working for AquacultureTalent for 2 and a half years now. And every time I have felt like I was not doing my best, someone from the team would always come and tell me how good I am at other stuff. I recently felt like I lost my “writing mojo”. Cristian my boss told me something like “it is okay, that can happen sometimes, you are good at creating stuff, so go create something that is not related to writing, then you’ll get your mojo back”. And a big part of this duty to motivate your coworkers is getting to know them in more ways than just what tasks they can complete or can.
Take the time to plan activities outside the workspace where you can get to know your team on a personal level. Of course, you don’t want them to feel like you are overstepping boundaries. However, human connections in our workplace are key to keeping everyone motivated.
Sometimes people lose their motivation because they feel they are stuck. Or because they are bored of doing the same thing. It is difficult to change complete roles or adjust someone’s duties 100%. And I understand that. However, we are always looking for growth. Invite them to participate in other departments for a few hours every week. This way they can share their knowledge as well as learn new things from other roles.
Create and offer a career path for your employees. Yes, the salary is fine. However, people are always looking at other incentives. And offering a career path within your organization will keep them motivated. Will make them look forward to being their best selves. Career paths within your organization will provide you with committed employees.
Get up and Brush it off
We all fall. And to be honest that is the worse thing that can happen but is also the worst. There is nothing wrong with falling, we just need to get up when we are ready and learn from our mistakes. To motivate coworkers that have fallen, do not beat them up over their mistakes. Do not remind them of it every time. Offer constructive criticism but also encourage them to show they can do it better next time. Show them falling is okay as long as they learn from their mistakes.