The success of your organization depends on the productivity of your employees. In a workplace with a great company culture, employees put forth the effort to work to their fullest potential and strive for continual growth. However, when the negativity of even one employee creeps into the office, it can cause low morale, derail productivity, and can decrease cooperation among even your most productive workers. Because negativity can spread like the plague, it’s important that you speak to unmotivated employees as soon as you notice the issue. Minimize the potential risk negativity has on team productivity by using these tips to speak with employees that aren’t sending off positive vibes.
Clearly communicate job roles.
When you’re a manager, it’s easy to assume that all of your employees share the same goals and intentions as you do. You discuss your vision among your peers and supervisors in team lead meetings, but it’s important to remember that the whole team isn’t there. The underlying issue of many demotivated employees is that they are simply uninformed. Therefore, if an employee seems disconnected, take the time to make sure they fully understand their job role. Discuss what duties they’re expected to perform and why. The “Why” factor enables people to make educated choices in how to accomplish their day-to-day tasks because they can see the bigger picture of how it affects the organization.
Give specific examples of issues you’re seeing.
If an employee shows consistent lack of productivity or unacceptable behavior, use specific examples when confronting them. For example, if they’ve been constantly late, specify the number of times in the past week or how many minutes late they’ve been. If this form of poor performance has been discussed in the past, remind the employee when you talked to them about it previously. Say, I indicated to you the day before yesterday that coming in late is not acceptable. Specific examples help you stay on track and give clear, focused feedback to the employee rather than making overarching statements about their less than stellar performance.
Give feedback in real time.
Don’t hesitate and wait days or weeks to give feedback to poor performers. If you make the individual aware of what they did immediately, they’ll be able to fully recall the issue. Too many managers make the mistake of not providing feedback on a regular basis and then bombarding employees by giving them a bad performance review. The performance review should be a review of previous discussions throughout the year. Nothing in this review should come as a surprise to the employee.
Keep them engaged.
An employee is much more motivated to succeed at the things they enjoy doing. Involve employees in choosing team goals and making decisions. Decision-making generates personal buy-in. Employees who are in the midst of the day-to-day activities can have different perspectives than their managers who are only near to the action. Take employees perspectives into account. If you don’t they’ll feel like nobody is listening to them and low morale will ensue.
Discuss career goals.
Successful leaders know what keeps each one of their staff members coming to work each day. They make sure those reasons are fulfilled and help employees articulate their future goals. If an employee isn’t motivated, it usually means there is a disconnect between their work and personal goals. Talk to the employee and try to find out what the underlying cause is. Understanding where the gap is enables you to see things from the same perspective as the employee. You’ll be able to talk their language and help realign responsibilities to the person’s area of interest. It’s as simple as finding links between the employee’s goals and the organization’s goals, and matching them up.
When all else fails, move negative people off the team.
Sometimes no matter how much time you spend trying to turn a negative employee positive, you still don’t see improvement. Under-performing employees can drain morale if the issues aren’t resolved. If you’ve monitored their progress with regular meetings, and you’re still having issues with the employee being unmotivated, it may be time to move them off the team. You can’t risk one problem employee draining energy from other staff members and causing low morale to spread.
Employee negativity is an emotional issue that needs to be dealt with immediately in order to protect workplace productivity. Don’t let poor management be the reason negativity affects your whole office. Make employees feel like they are a valuable asset to the team by continuing to encourage the right attitude.
Eliminating negativity begins with hiring the right employees. Let the experienced recruiters at BOS Staffing help find the best candidate for your open positions. For more than 35 years we have helped clients throughout Northeast Georgia and nationwide complete work cost-effectively, hire smarter, and manage their workforces more efficiently. If you are looking for a better way to work – and want hands-on service from experienced, Certified Staffing Professionals® – give BOS a call.