Ways to Motivate Disengaged Employees for Better Collaboration, Growth and Satisfaction

What do you do if you’re a leader with a disengaged employee?

Or if you’re a team member who feels demotivated?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being certified with Global DISC, it’s that the highest level of growth and performance in an employee happens when the following are true:

  1. An employee or team member feels psychologically safe,
  2. They feel motivated,
  3. They are working in a cognitively diverse environment

Don’t have or feel any of the above?

Then your company will have disengaged employees.

Gallup research shows that 70% of employees consider themselves to be disengaged at work. Organisations know how important it is to motivate disengaged employees, but most fail to train managers and hold them accountable for making it happen.

When they don’t, the bottom line suffers.

How do you then motivate such employees?

How do you know if your team members feel psychologically safe and motivated enough to collaborate, contribute and innovate?

In this article, I’d like to delve deeper into motivation for disengaged employees.

Motivational Drive – The Desire to Learn

How does one feel motivated? Motivated to grow, to learn, to perform.

In a traditional setting, corporate leaders often offer team members the “carrot and stick” motivation. For example, if you perform well, we offer you a bonus. If you don’t meet the target, you DON’T get the bonus. 

The carrot and stick approach is good for setting actionable goals. The rewards, if desirable enough, also encourage employees to perform better. 

But it doesn’t give employees the chance to grow creatively. It doesn’t seek out opportunities for collaboration for the long-term vision of the company. 

What leaders should do instead is: tap into the intrinsic motivation of a team member. If you work alone, then do this for yourself. This drives sustainable results and unlocks the potential within a person.

What is intrinsic motivation?

It’s doing something for yourself instead of an external reward or due to peer pressure. Let’s say you have a challenging task ahead. Instead of stressing out in figuring it out because of fear of your manager, do it because you see how much you can learn from the process.

There are different types of intrinsic motivation.

  • Autonomy — our desire to be self-directed. It increases engagement over compliance.
  • Accountability — the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
  • Mastery — the feeling that someone is getting better at things that matter, by getting feedback.
  • Purpose — the desire to do something that has meaning and is important.

Identifying which type works for which employee may take time but the benefits are great on an individual and organisational level.

If you’re unsure which type of intrinsic motivation works best, try the Global DISC tool. I’m certified to help you identify the gaps you have. Contact me for more information.