Dealing with workplace zombies can be frustrating! It can be extremely challenging, especially since as a business owner, you have so many things that you're already juggling. You're a business owner, the practitioner, you take care of the marketing... you do ALL OF IT! You're even the maintenance person sometimes too! With the little energy you have left, now you have to motivate your team members to do their job effectively!
Wouldn't it be nice if they could manage themselves and STAY motivated? It's possible! We have helped many clients change the culture from a zombie to a self-managed team. The first step is to see what is actually causing the energy and the motivation to be sapped from your team members.
It's time to do a little bit of soul searching, where you need to lean in, and you need to listen with curiosity!
You need to be able to face those harsh realities that are staring right back at you, the lack of motivation... it is a symptom. It's a by-product of a bigger issue that is happening in your practice RIGHT NOW. It could be due to lack of communication, the management or leadership styles. These are the things that we need to really take a look at.
- Cause #1 Boredom: One reason why your team might be unmotivated is that they're feeling a little bored. Not in a sense where there's not enough for them to do, because you and I both know that there are a ton of things to do on a regular basis! No, this boredom comes from not feeling challenged in their role. This is a great opportunity, for you to be able to connect with your team members and see why they are not feeling challenged enough. Maybe that's an area where you can ask: "What are your personal and professional goals? How can I help you be successful there?" Those two questions are going to help re-engage your team member and will help them feel like you are truly invested in their personal growth and development.
- Cause #2 Feeling Underappreciated: They feel underappreciated. Now that is extremely deflating for anyone. To feel all this pressure as a team member - that "you need to do this right, you're doing that wrong! The practice is losing money. We don't reach out goals" That is extremely unmotivating. They begin to lose confidence in themselves, and it can an "A+ team player" into a "C player". Offering coaching & mentoring sessions to help them improve their skillset. Having regular meetings to discuss the practice goals, vision, and how they play a part in its success. Delegating them with projects or tasks and showing them how they directly contribute to its success. These simple things can significantly improve their morale and motivation.
- Cause #3 Micromanagement: Let's be honest-- no one likes being micro-managed! After hearing all day long how they should be doing it this way or having someone breathe down their neck...they feel: "What's the point of doing this activity when I know I'm going to get judged for it, or somebody else is going to take it away from me, because I did it differently but got the same results?"
Let's Talk Solutions
What are some things that you can do right now to change your culture?
Take 10 to 15 minutes with every team member and ask a few questions, listen, and lean in with curiosity. Some things they say might be some harsh truths. As the CEO, it is your responsibility to make sure your team feels heard and supported so they can be successful in their job to run YOUR business.
For example: "Susie, how are things going? Are there any areas that you feel that we could improve on? Is there anything goals you are working towards, maybe personally or professionally? What can I do to help you reach them? Is there anything that I can do? Are there any challenges that you're facing right now in your job. What can I do, to help you be successful?"
Those are just six quick questions, but they are powerful questions for your team members to hear; to feel like you actually want them to be successful, and you're going to do all that you can to help them thrive. In turn, they're going to do the same thing for you. They're going to see that they feel valued, that their opinion matters and that you appreciate them.
Once you get all of the feedback from your team members, there's probably going to be a common thread. So, now it's time for you, as a CEO, and as the manager and owner of the business, to be able to see what that issue is, why it exists, and address it.
There may be certain things that you might have to deal with internally, maybe that includes personnel changes, and identify those gaps. The next step would be to address that you heard their concerns and are taking XYZ steps to address the issues.
Keep that communication process going, not just one time for 15 minutes, but regularly communicating with your team on an individual basis, having regular team meetings, and also doing regular performance reviews and goal-setting sessions. This formula will help engage your team and keep them focused & motivated to bring results.