Wondering how to motivate employees? We’ve found that employees who are unmotivated fall into two categories:

  1. Not challenged – People enjoy feeling needed and challenged, but rarely do people hunt for more work to do.
  2. Lacking specific direction – Employees will complain  that they don’t know what is expected of them, especially if a job description is lacking. 

In both scenarios, a manager has an opportunity to turn an “unresourceful” human into a resourceful one.  

One Simple Trick To Motivate Employees 

The best strategy to help both types of under-performing employees is to give them more objectives and tasks than they think they can handle.  Often, it turns out, “rising to the occasion” not only keeps the employee motivated, but their accomplishments make them feel better about themselves and their job. As the manager, when you make a request, the employee feels needed and purposeful.   

All of Odyssey Teams’ live events pose a challenge to employees that seems completely impossible at first – “build a prosthetic arm with three people who each have one hand” or “design and build a playhouse in one hour” – GO.

These experiences are specifically designed to challenge people to do something they’ve never done before so that with the help of their actual colleagues, they achieve the something incredible. The feeling and perspective that is created in these moments carries over to their actual work life and permeates the company culture for the better.

Spend Time Outlining Job Descriptions

Managers can often feel too busy to spend the time thinking about what would make an employee more successful in a particular role. However, when managers clearly set the expectations high, employees know where they are going. The more time spent in planning and thinking about job descriptions and roles, the more successful employees, and ultimately the organization will be. 

Written by: Ceanne Johnson is the Human Resources Manager at Odyssey Teams and has held a number of high-value roles in human resources management. Her 20 years of human resources management experience in established corporate and leading-edge technology environments can benefit every level of an organization.