A company or team that’s not working up to its full potential can be tricky to identify. Unless of course there is an epic fail, loss of a major account, or significant drop in revenue.
We all lose our fuel to be full-steam-ahead occasionally, but when it becomes a pattern instead of just a rough spot, that lack of motivation to succeed can be contagious enough to spread beyond one or two individuals.
And this slip, from enthusiasm to the doldrums, is a dangerous one – it can lead to employee turnovers, missed deadlines, loss of revenue and an overall work atmosphere that just doesn’t feel fun and energized.
Great leaders can identify when something has become a trend versus just a blip — open dialogue is the best way to approach these challenges, but first you might need to do a little keen observation to determine if it’s a blip or a trend. Here are a few clues:
Are your staff members coming to you with new ideas? Are they asking to sign up for job-related classes or seminars, or coming up with new strategies to tackle everyday problems or procedures?
Innovation goes hand-in-hand with motivation, and if your team is doing the basics but not taking extra steps, it might be a sign that they’re losing interest. Or, maybe they’re just losing that all-important sense of creative thinking.
A big red flag for an unmotivated team is that they’re simply not there. There are more sick days, longer lunches, or later arrivals and early departures. It’s a hard trend to determine, but if it’s an issue, you’ll see it across the board.
While micromanaging employees’ arrival and departure times is a sure-fire way to de-motivate them, try to observe if there’s a shift in the amount of time your team shows up and performs their work. Engaged and inspired employees get so involved in a project, they arrive early to get started or don’t notice the clock ticking past lunch or even 5 o’clock, for that matter.
If you’re getting the sense your team is spending time on Facebook, researching their next vacation or shopping online during work hours, this is another hint they might be in need of some inspiration. Frequent trips to the break room or a lot time spent chatting in the halls and aisles about non-work related activities can also indicate they’re just not feeling the motivation to achieve more.
Great leaders can identify the trend and then analyze possible causes.
While reasons such as these may be beyond your immediate control, the good news is that once you’ve identified there is a drop in motivation and why, you’re on your way to turning things around for your team and your organization.
What’s the Answer?
Open up transparent, safe lines of communication with your team and incentivize your employees! Money Talks! And team members that are free to talk and free to dream are HAPPY team members. Never underestimate the power of happy people. At all costs, calculate the costs of igniting and rewarding your team to dream and fly higher as they bring value and revenue into the company.
Above all, never rain on the parade of your Rain Makers! As leaders, your job is to lead, not control! Inspire your team to dream and then reward them for breaking barriers. Your entire organization will prosper for it.
Need some ideas for how to become a leader who can inspire and motivate others? My book, WINology – World Class Performance, provides a blueprint for how you can become that leader!
Have you lost your motivation to succeed at work? If so, let us know why and how you overcame it in the comments section below!