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Revitalizing Engagement: Proven Strategies and Top Tips for Motivating Disengaged Employees

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Employee engagement can determine the success or failure of a company. With 86% of the total workforce being unmotivated, there are a few unmotivated members in most teams.

When a large portion of the workforce is disengaged, it can have a significant impact on business revenue, workplace culture, and overall performance.

What are the financial costs of unmotivated employees?

Unmotivated or unhappy employees are less creative and productive. They are also more likely to leave the company. When this happens, the boomerang effect can be destructive.

Research from Gallup shows that a dissatisfied workforce costs US companies around $500 billion each year. The same report also shows that the cost of a single dissatisfied employee is approximately 34% of their annual salary.

For example: If you have a disengaged employee with an annual salary of $100,000, their lost productivity would be $34,000. If this were applied to the entire organization, the costs would be astronomical and would negatively impact individual and business performance.

Other costs that arise from unmotivated employees include:

  • Costs for filling a vacant position
  • Amount of resources required to train existing staff until the position is filled

Signs of a disengaged workforce

Committed employees are creative problem solvers, make an active contribution to the team and are friendly colleagues in the workplace. They adopt their employer’s vision, purpose and values.

But how can you identify unmotivated employees? The common signs of a disengaged staff can be reflected in many behaviors, such as:

Lack of initiative

Poor work performance is a clear sign of a lack of commitment, but good performance can also be a distraction. Often, disengaged employees perform above average due to a lack of work ethic, a lack of challenge, or a task that is too easy.

Silence at work

Although 25-40% of the population is introverted, too much silence in the workplace can also be an indication of a lack of engagement at work.

If you notice no excitement, lack of interest, or even recognition, it could be a sign of unmotivated employees.

No desire to learn or grow

Curiosity is a clear sign of commitment. Harvard Business Review research confirms that inquisitive employees lead to highly adaptable and high-performing companies.

Employees' curiosity shows that they care about the team and the company. If learning and growth is a valued company value, but employees don't share that enthusiasm, it's time to take a closer look at their engagement values.

Poor work ethic

Excessive lunch breaks or smoke breaks can also indicate disengagement. Disengaged employees may have personal issues, but excessive breaks can also be a sign of a lack of interest in their role, their work, or their company.

How to inspire unmotivated employees

Dissatisfaction may be increasing, but creating and maintaining consistent communication is key to increasing employee engagement.

Did you know that companies with highly engaged teams have 21% higher profitability than companies that don't have such teams? These companies also experience 2.6x higher earnings per share growth.

It can be as simple as ensuring employees are happy, fulfilled, and connected to their company's purpose. Consider these important tips that can inspire a dissatisfied workforce, whether they are on different floors or continents:

Set yourself clear goals

Successful work performance can be highlighted by clear behaviors that link individual tasks to the overall company goals. Jointly defined goals can significantly increase employee engagement.

Prioritizing milestones and achievements

All companies focus on prioritizing their goals and KPIs. Stand out by recognizing and celebrating personal achievements and milestones.

Even sending simple “thank you” or “you’re special” emails can make employees eight times more engaged than those who only receive monetary compensation for a job well done.

Regular feedback

When feedback isn't just a one-time thing, it can go a long way toward increasing employee engagement. Regular feedback not only leads to a double boost in motivation, but also helps employees to perform their tasks better.

Feedback is also more meaningful when it is given consistently, supported by concrete examples, and connected to overall company goals.

As remote work has become the norm, opportunities for informal feedback have drastically reduced. It is not possible to meet the team at the coffee machine or go to the locker room.

Teams can use online messaging tools, collaboration software and video conferencing platforms to provide timely and meaningful feedback.

Allow your employees to grow and thrive

For approximately 33% of job seekers, professional growth and development is the most important reason for accepting a new job.However, they tend to leave the job if they don't get it. Consciously create supportive routines and team practices that help employees connect with each other and identify with the company's purpose.

Reduce the social isolation and disconnection that remote work can cause by:

  • Establish clear communication channels for employee collaboration
  • regular informal and formal communication via chat, messaging, telephone and video calls
  • Encouraging a cross-functional approach to work
  • Facilitating creative working methods
  • Creating a positive work culture that supports informal gatherings such as virtual meetings, Friday chats or online birthday parties

Personalize motivators

Provide your employees with personalized motivation options, e.g. challenging tasks or opportunities for learning and personal development.

Continue this trend in rewards and recognition by offering personal thank you cards, financial rewards, or time off from work.

How to keep your employees engaged

Motivating disengaged employees can be challenging, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach for teams or companies.

Start by helping your employees find meaning and purpose in their work. Support them by creating personal connections, connecting their work to the company's vision, and providing timely feedback.

Employee engagement is a continuous process, whether employees are working in the office or remotely. Empower your team to eliminate unnecessary distractions, simplify complicated projects, and achieve better results with a collaborative work management solution like IceHrm.

Transform your workplace dynamics with our proven strategies and top tips for motivating disengaged employees. From fostering a positive work culture to personalized recognition programs, these approaches breathe new life into team morale and productivity. With a revitalized workforce, your organization is poised for success. Embrace these motivational insights to inspire lasting enthusiasm and commitment among your team, creating a workplace where every employee thrives.

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