How to revive an unmotivated, burnt-out team

Is your team burnt out? Try out these five ways to revive a tired workforce

We’re officially into the second half of the year, which is when your body and brain start to feel the strain of the past six months.

It’s a time when the majority of working professionals – even the most energetic of employees and the go-getter types – begin a gradual decline in the delivery of performance outputs.

This, says organisational psychologist and leadership specialist Dr David Javitch, is the first red flag to identify unmotivated or burnt-out employees. “Absent any serious reasons to explain away the change, demotivation is usually the culprit,” Javitch explains in an Entrepreneur article.

Other red flags include a change in attitude, tardiness, stressed reactions and a sudden increase in the number of absent days.

If you’ve noticed team members displaying any of the precursors mentioned above, here are five ways to remedy the problem.

  1. Find out what’s going on

Management coach Alison Green says asking for your employee’s perspective into what could be bothering them will help managers get to the root of the problem, that could very well be a bigger issue than you initially thought.

“You might find out that they are feeling overworked or struggling with a particular aspect of the job or even realising that the job isn’t for them. In that case, what you’ve been seeing are just symptoms of a larger problem that needs to tackled,” she says.

  1. Be transparent

It’s best to be clear, not only about your organisation’s objectives, but also about the behaviour you want to see and that you feel isn’t being displayed.

If you have an employee who is unmotivated, Green suggests asking them to propose more self-generated ideas as opposed to just executing someone else’s vision. If you let employees take ownership of more tasks, you’re more likely to get more out of your employees willingly.

  1. Identify previous motivators and make new ones

Find out what motivates your employees and hone in on those motivators. Bear in mind that motivators change over time so things that once motivated an employee in the past won’t necessarily remain the same over time, so being able to identify and distinguish between past and present motivators is vital. You can do this by identifying the areas in which an employee experiences the greatest sense of achievement, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth and where possible, change up job responsibilities to inject fresh energy and productive challenges to an employee’s tasks.

  1. Offer real-time feedback and show your appreciation

Energy Project CEO Tony Schwartz was once quoted as saying in a Harvard Business Review article: “No single behaviour more viscerally and reliably influences the quality of people’s energy than feeling valued and appreciated by their supervisor.”

Reward good work consistently and offer immediate feedback on projects or tasks your employees complete because this helps employees with their individual goals. Don’t just leave it to your annual performance assessment to let your employees what they’re doing right and where they’re going wrong.

“This gives employees the answers they need to know, sooner rather than later,” says WorkSimple founder Morgan Norman.

  1. Encourage their strengths

Take the time to learn where each team member’s strength lies and focus their attention on completing tasks that optimally utilises these strengths.

Countless research studies have demonstrated how employees who are passionate about the work they do will most likely deliver positive outputs.

Source: Inc, Daily Worth, Entrepreneur