Managing an Unmotivated Employee

5 Tips for Managing an Unmotivated Employee

It can be frustrating managing unproductive workers, and our first instinct is often to fire them. While sometimes termination is necessary, it’s important to face the issue head on and get to the bottom of the lack of productivity. 

The root cause of unproductive behavior is often lack of motivation. Normally, you would not hire an employee who appears to be unproductive, and if you did, it doesn’t take long to realize that they may not be worth keeping around. In the case of an employee who started off as a reliable go-getter, a hasty termination isn’t always the best approach. 

So, how do you manage a valued, yet unmotivated employee?

Managing an unmotivated employee isn’t always easy, but we’ve crafted a few tips to help you bring your valued employees back to their full potential. 

1. Communication is Key
When it comes to good employee management, regardless of their performance, communication is key. In the event that your employee’s performance has slowly dwindled, before you do anything else, talk to them! Whether it’s something going on at home, or just lack of interest in current projects, you won’t be able to bring them a solution until you know what the root of the issue is. 

2. Evaluate Their Job Description
Something to look at either on your own, or with your employee, is their job description and responsibilities as a whole. If they’ve been at the company for a while, consider the question: Have they outgrown this role? If they’re relatively new, ask yourself: Did I hire someone who is overqualified? It’s also good to sit down with the employee and make sure that the original job description still accurately represents what they do on a day-to-day basis. It’s easy for roles to evolve overtime, if this is the case it’s best to ensure your employee is comfortable with what the role has become. 

3. Set Goals
At times, a job can become monotonous causing employees to feel bored, unmotivated and eventually unproductive. One way to spark productivity is by setting goals for your employee. These goals can be large or small, the point is to make your employee feel that their work is contributing to something larger. 

4. Find an Organization Method that Works
For some, being overwhelmed is a motivator, for others it is the exact opposite. Organizing your tasks and your time is a great solution for an employee or is overwhelmed and under-motivated. While it won’t do the work for them, it will set them up for success.

5. Provide Opportunities to Grow
Similar to why we set goals, people want to be able to work toward something, to know that their current efforts can amount to something bigger over time. It’s best to sit down with your employee often and discuss their future and current career aspirations, and how they can be accomplished with the role or the company at large.

Remotivating an employee isn’t something that happens over night. It will take time and effort from both you as the manager and the employee themselves. At the end of the day they have to want to improve, and if they do, your encouragement will be the icing on the cake. 

Focus on the important side of employee management, we’ll take care of the rest. Whether you are a startup or a growing company with 50+ employees, HRO has the tools you need so you can focus on guiding your team to success.

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