Maybe you’ve heard the story. Maybe you’ve lived the story. An employee gets hired, appears to be doing a decent job, but that quickly wears off with time. They seem disinterested and restless. Most importantly, they don’t seem to care about their job.

Unmotivated workers not only hurt your business, but they can also affect everyone working around them.

So how do you get unmotivated workers more interested in their job? Here are a few steps that are sure to work.

1)      Right person, right job

Ultimately, this is where it all begins – you’ve got to hire the right person. While this isn’t a cure-all, it certainly aids in the process of motivating the unmotivated. You’ve got to find someone that fits with your company’s culture, someone that is qualified for the job you’re hiring for. By hiring someone that isn’t qualified (or maybe overqualified), you’re doing them and your company a disservice.

2)      Goal-oriented

People that work for you, just like anyone else, need a little direction. By offering clear goals and priorities, you give them that direction. If you leave them a vague list of to-do’s, they are more likely to become discouraged, which can lead to a lack of motivation.

3)      Offer the right incentives

Were you ever offered incentives when you worked for someone else? Did those incentives work? More often than not, incentives do work (i.e. bonuses, vacations, etc.). But incentives can also backfire. Don’t give them incentives for something they can’t do or something that is outside their comfort zone.

4)      In trust we trust

You need to be someone that your workers actually look up to. They need to believe in the things you do. When you build trust between you and your workforce, they are more likely to want to work hard for you because of that trust. You can build this trust by providing results that are evident, by admitting when you make mistakes, by showing empathy for your workforce, and by including them in some of the decision-making processes.

5)      They’re people, too

You’ve got to remember through all this that your employees are people, too. They’ve got their own goals and aspirations, so take the time to talk to them. Learn about them. This may seem like a big task if you’ve got a larger small business, but the time it takes is well worth it. Knowing what they want will help you motivate them.

When looking to motivate those employees that appear to be un-motivated, it only takes a little attention to make that happen. Remember that hiring the right person is crucial to this process, and getting to know your employees is tantamount to the success – or failure – of your business.