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Running a successful business is dependent on how motivated your workforce is. There are times when the work rate of your colleagues might be slow or even static. These unmotivated team members might slow down the work process and even affect outputs negatively. One study highlighted that 93% of workers believe they work with at least one person who isn’t putting in the same effort as them. Companies have suffered setbacks due to a lack of motivation from either a group or an individual team member. Being unmotivated could take several forms: it could be mental and emotional fatigue, outright subtle rebellion to follow orders, or plain laziness. Whatever the case may be, resolving it will take strategic actions. Therefore, it requires some strategic step-by-step process to get an unmotivated colleague to pull their weights and get the whole business machinery running. In this article, I highlight four steps to get colleagues who aren’t pulling their weight to get super pumped.
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  • Find The Perfect Time To Act
Getting an unmotivated team member to get back in line is the responsibility of a senior team member. Not just this, noting the right time to broach the matter with the concerned team member is another thing that requires wisdom. Senior colleagues who want to get an unmotivated team member back in line must have their facts right otherwise he might blow things out of proportion. Therefore, senior team members or supervisors must not act out gossip or fall victim to poor communication. There are cases where some coworkers might believe their team members are deliberately evading their responsibilities, for instance, but this could be the result of crossed wires or inaccurate ideas about what certain roles on the team entail. Therefore, separate facts from lies and premonitions, so that you genuinely know why colleagues aren’t taking responsibility for their share of the workload.
  • Start Dialogues With A Positive Tone
After finding the perfect time to discuss with an unmotivated colleague, the conversation must begin on a positive note, and the right words are used during the dialogue process. Engaging unmotivated colleagues with an aggressive or accusatory tone is like putting the wrong leg forward. It will surely backfire. Using such tones will only make the said colleagues feel attacked. They might go defensive or become furious. Therefore, as a senior colleague trying to get someone motivated again, you have to apply tact, diplomacy and use the right words and language and even the right tone. First, the right way to go is to make the said team member feel comfortable, then ask them if there is anything on their mind they would want to share. This could naturally turn into a talk about underlying issues that might be hindering their performance at work.
  • Find The Root Cause Of The Problem
In most cases, according to workplace studies, cases where a person’s productivity has declined and it’s affecting the rest of the team, you’re likely to find there’s a profound explanation why this has happened. There are many probable factors responsible for such a sudden decline in an employee’s output, such as:
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  • Problems in their personal life
  • Financial worries
  • Lack of engagement in their role or the business as a whole
  • Workplace problems such as bullying or harassment
A thoughtful manager will look for the essential reasons why a particular team member’s performance has dwindled and think about solutions to address these issues. As well as helping you manage this particular scenario, this approach will minimize the risk of a similar situation arising again in the future.
  • Look For Constructive Solutions
Once you’ve invested the time and effort in discovering why particular team members have been falling short of expectations at work, you’ll be in a bigger position to develop favorable, lasting solutions that lead to good outcomes for all parties. If team members’ low productivity is tied to workplace problems such as a toxic atmosphere, it’s apparent the company needs to find an effective way to manage this problem, so your staff can happily get on with their jobs. Furthermore, if an employee’s productivity is suffering because of stress, anxiety, or mental health issues, put in place positive actions you can take to help them, such as:
  • Educating line managers on how to have conversations about mental health
  • Providing information on resources and organizations available to support them
  • Drafting a plan if they need to take time off and make a gradual transition back to work
A Final Word If you can get to the core cause of employees falling behind and find sustainable solutions to these issues, the benefits will be felt not only by your workforce but by the entire business. Featured image source: Startup Info
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This article was first published on 28th March 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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