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Why you need to re-engage demotivated employees

There’s no denying that motivation drives performance. So when employees lose their drive to succeed how can managers help them? More importantly, should managers try to salvage motivation?

Motivation is the force that leads to success. In fact without the willingness, persistence and mental effort that result from high-motivation, 60% of team projects fail. High-performance cannot be achieved without motivation.

Employees, however, lose this drive for various reasons. They may no longer feel positively challenged in their role or perhaps they are dealing with a difficult situation. They could also be feeling that they are not rewarded fairly for their work.

It’s therefore prudent for leaders to be supportive when good employees lose their motivation. You don’t want them to be demotivated to the point of leaving. IML ANZ’s National Salary Survey found that on average, it costs A$23,410 to replace staff who leave. Not to mention the invaluable cost of losing the knowledge and understanding those employees have of your organisation and customers.

What can managers do to re-engage demotivated employees? Here are some ways:


Reward for extrinsic motivation

This includes external or tangible rewards such as salary, benefits, the conditions of work and even the physical work environment.

Managers must be cautious not to assume that extrinsic motivation is the quick fix. There could be a number of factors that influence de-motivation. Instead, use extrinsic motivation as just one of the ways to re-engage your employee.


Support their intrinsic motivations

Here is an area where leadership skills can truly make an impact – boosting an employee’s intrinsic motivation. Unlike extrinsic motivation, this takes time, effort and commitment to build within employees.

An intrinsically motivated worker is one who feels confident in their capability, enjoys a healthy sense of challenge in their work feels appreciated by workmates and displays care and consideration for those around them.

There is also no silver bullet for boosting intrinsic motivation. Much will depend on ensuring that you value the achievements of employees in a fair and visible way. It also helps to work on communications skills so that you can be a source of reassurance for employees who may be waning in their motivation.


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