Disengaged Employees Are Your Fault: Tips for Motivating Your Team

Motivating Disengaged Employees

Clock in, clock out. Minimal effort. I’m not going into work today. How much longer do I have to be here? Poor work product. Silence in meetings. Mistakes…

Recognize that description? As a manager and leader, likely you have a number of employees on your team that fit that bill. According to a July 2020 Gallup study, 60% of the American workforce is disengaged at work. Disengaged employees are less productive, less profitable, less safe, more absent, and more likely to make safety mistakes.

Fortunately, you don’t have to look far for the answer to this problem: it’s YOU. There’s a clear link between employee engagement and management. Research shows that managers and leaders are responsible for 70% of the variance in employee engagement in businesses. Like it or not, YOU impact your employees’ job engagement and overall performance.

Your employees don’t want you to be their boss, they want you to be their coach. A coach doesn’t boss, a coach leads. Employees want to feel like their boss is invested in their success. A student of the players, the game, and the competition, a coach gathers data and plans the play that will get the WIN. And we all know, if you don’t keep score, you can’t win.

It starts with sharing valuable, ACTIONABLE intel

As a manager or leader, you are pulled in a million different directions, CC’ed on hundreds of e-mails, required to make quick decisions, and responsible for putting out fires before they get out of control. The end result is you are in the know. You know the pulse of the company and have either set or been told the business’ goals, key performance indicators, and strengths / weaknesses / opportunities / threats. But have you told your team?

Today’s employees want to be in the know. In the age where information is transferred in seconds via a quick text or tweet, transparency has become an expectation, not a privilege. The day and age of business behind closed doors is over. Managers need to embrace transparency and leverage it to engage their employees.

Share the business’ goals with your team, and then share team specific goals and action items that can feed into accomplishing those bigger goals. How can a player be effective if he/she doesn’t know the rules of the game or the goal of the game? Employees are on the bus and need to know where they are headed and what they can do to help the team score the WIN. A good coach is able to lay out a clear action plan with measurable steps and opportunities for adjustment.

Keep the momentum

We’ve all seen the famous football movies (cue Remember the Titans) where the clock is running out and the players are feeling defeated and stressed, ready to let victory slip from their fingers. With just minutes to spare, the coach calls a timeout, huddles the team together, and instills the wisdom and inspiration to get the team to press onto victory. They score a touchdown, the crowd goes wild, sweat, tears, happiness, victory.

The coach has to keep the team focused on the WIN. One way to build momentum and excitement is through sprints. Day-to-day business tasks are vital to growing the bottom line and keeping the business running, but in reality, they can often be mundane. It’s easy for employees to lose momentum. Sprints are short-term employee competitions that are incentivized with an individual prize or team prize to motivate employees to accomplish a smaller goal that contributes to a larger company goal. These smaller victories will keep your team engaged in winning the bigger victories. It keeps their head in the game.

How do you do it? Check out this example:

Disengaged Employees Are Your Fault Tips for Engaging Your Team Sprints

This sales team used a scoreboard to keep their players engaged and accountable it engaged the head, hands and heart of the team. Display this visual in a high-traffic employee area or distribute electronically, pair it with a motivating incentive, and you’ll get your team fueled for the win!

Create accountability

In the example above, each sales representative had an individual goal and a bar showing his/her personal goal status. While at first employees might resist having their individual performance on display, over time you will see that accountability will increase performance and productivity. Employees need to be reminded that their effort and engagement impacts their team AND the company as a whole.

Accountability isn’t about negatives being exposed to the team. In reality, it is about the wins. When a teammate is hitting goals and succeeding in his/her role, the entire team benefits. And when the team SEES that, the result is typically excitement, encouragement, and affirmation. As the team continues to win and grow together, employees will feel purpose in their work and will strive to continue to stretch and develop as a professional.

On your way to the BIG WIN

As a coach, if you can share intel, keep momentum, and create accountability, you keep your team engaged, productive, and fighting for the big win.

Are you ready to engage the heads, hands and heart of your team? Are you ready to transform your business? Click here to get started today.

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