Feeling Unenthusiastic? Reawakening Your Employees’ Passion for Work

Gone are the days when people would stay at one job for their entire career. Workers nowadays voluntarily switch jobs every few years for likely the same reason – feeling unenthusiastic about their current work. For many of them, being passionate about their job gives them a motivational reason to get out of bed in the morning. But even jobs they initially enjoyed can grow bland over time. Maybe they’re sick of the same repetitive work, maybe the nature of their job changed, or maybe it’s just too stressful.

Although not every worker has to love their position, keeping the job experience somewhat positive is key for many to get through the day. So if you’ve noticed a drop in productivity in a tenured employee, it’s a sign to start a conversation with them and try to reignite that spark that once made them excited about going to work.

Interests and Motivations Can Change Over Time

HR professionals utilize assessments at the early stages of hiring to determine a candidate’s job-fit. This process allows us to find workers that are suitable for the job, and above that, someone who will be satisfied with the work that they do. But while personality traits are relatively stable over time, a person’s interests and motivation can and often do gradually change across the life span. Even the popular American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has evolved from her country roots to something more “pop-y” and in with the trend.

The point is – we can never be so sure that someone you once considered a “good-fit” will forever stay that way. Studies, in fact, have shown that the average tenure of workers ages 25 to 34 is 2.8 years, a drastic difference from those ages 55 to 64 at 9.9 years. This isn’t to say that young workers are less committed. Rather, they’re more ambitious for challenge than for stability. If you want your young talents to overcome the 3-year jinx, you’ll need to learn strategies for detecting those signals and taking restorative action.

It’s Like Finding Clothes That Fit

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for restoring meaning and passion in someone’s job. However, there are strategies which managers can take for making corrections – a little bet on the odds that through some changes, they might end up staying.

When your clothes no longer fit, you go and get ones that are the right size for you. While it’s true that everyone is assigned a job title from the start, work tasks aren’t necessarily rigid. Perhaps a meaningful work experience to them today can be achieved by switching up the routine, whether that means working with a different schedule, a new environment, or an entirely different position. As much as we want our employees to be the ones adapting to their jobs, it takes two to tango. Showing them that you’re flexible and willing to make compromises to their needs adds to the employee experience too.

Relight the Spark in Your Employees

Lack of enthusiasm isn’t something to fear. Here’s some advice on what you can do:

  • Create a career plan for the employee. We use our job-fit science in other formats to assist with coaching and succession planning. These reports are designed to help both the manager and the employee in determining career goals, motivations, and potential career paths.
  • Reconnect to your company culture. One of the driving factors for individuals to feel fulfilled at work is their connection to the company culture. Take the time to learn about your employees in person and create a space where they feel belonged.
  • Celebrate the little things. It’s important for us to practice gratitude, not only for big achievements, but also for the little things. Notice when your employees are doing a good job and make them feel special.

Losing talents over reasons like lost passion and burnout is common, but not inevitable. Taking measures to get to know your employees on a personal and professional level is an important step to rebuilding that relationship that was once filled with hope and excitement.