How to keep employees motivated

We measure the success of our businesses by our productivity. Are things getting done? Are they getting done on schedule? Are we staying within budget? Are we meeting members’/customers’ needs? Are we innovating?

But, we all go through phases of low motivation. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had a million things on our minds and to-do lists, which can feel so overwhelming it’s hard to even get started. It’s not just leaders that feel this stress – our employees are experiencing similar emotions. What’s important in these low-productivity situations is understanding why an employee isn’t motivated and how you can help them overcome it.

Author and business guru David Burkus outlines four of the top reasons people lose motivation and how leaders can address them:

  • Don’t believe they can: We’re asking a lot of our employees right now. Many of us are operating in remote environments, adopting more technology to get the job done, and rethinking the products and services that we offer. This is challenging for everyone – whether they’ve been at the company for 10 years or 6 months. The difference between those that can adapt and those who struggle is their mindset: Growth vs. fixed. Burkus says those with a growth mindset believe that with effort and learning they can build the skills and knowledge needed to do the job. Leaders must establish an environment that encourages this mindset, provides resources for needed training, and allows employees to openly discuss their frustrations and challenges.


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