Pop quiz: what’s the worst possible thing that can happen at your workplace that ISN’T:
- A state-wide coffee shortage.
- A flash flood.
- Frank forgetting his egg salad sandwich in his desk over the weekend.
Answer: an unmotivated employee.
Bored, unmotivated employees aren’t just a drag to be around – they can negatively impact the bottom line of a business. Crabby employees who feel like they’re enduring just another day “at the grind” are less likely to provide adequate customer service, will work less efficiently, and certainly won’t be coming up with any new profit-generating innovations.
They’re essentially living, breathing opportunity costs.
Let’s take a moment to cover 4 methods for keeping employees excited, innovative and motivated.
Let Them Fight
No, not like at that one office Holiday party in 2013 that nobody wants to talk about. Instead, encourage your employees to engage in a little friendly competition with one another. What exactly this entails will be dependent upon your type of business, but make sure that winners receive a small gift (such as a gift card) and plenty of public accolades.
Fido Can Work Too
Here’s an idea that might sound crazy to some: if it’s appropriate/feasible in your workplace, allow employees to bring a pet with them. A “bring your pet to work day” can break up monotony and encourage employees to interact with each other in ways they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Switch Up Teams
If the employees in your workplace work in teams or groups, shake things up a little and change the roster for each team. This will “wake up” any zombie-mode employees, since they’ll have to get out of their comfort zone and learn to work with new people. You can always reverse the changes, but be open to the possibility that the new teams might be even more efficient.
Answer This Question: Who Are You Neglecting?
This is going to take a little self-reflection. If you’re being honest with yourself, there’s probably one or two people you’ve been neglecting. Make a point of chatting with them, asking how they’re doing, and finding out what could be done to improve their experience at work. The amount of appreciation they’ll feel for receiving personalized attention will pay off in spades.
Sometimes in order to motivate a team of employees, you have to be motivated yourself. Take a few moments to think about your own experiences – what gets you feeling excited? When are you at your most productive? What stars aligned the last time you had a really innovative idea?
Answering these questions might give you just the insight you need to motivate others.