Managing Employees

4 Ways to Reignite the Flame With Burned Out Employees

4 Ways to Reignite the Flame With Burned Out Employees
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Entrepreneur; CEO and Co-Founder, ClearCompany
4 min read
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Peter recently started an exciting new career as an account coordinator at an award-winning ad agency. Everything about the new position excited him, from working with new clients to collaborating with fellow creatives to coming up with innovative ideas. The future was looking bright.

Fast forward one year.

Peter’s first year with the agency was successful. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm when he first started has since faded. He’s grown comfortable in his position -- maybe even too comfortable. What used to excite him is now just another item on his to-do list.

Related: Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Make Reducing Workplace Stress a Priority

With three in four employees open to or actively looking for new job opportunities, according to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior Study of 5,013 job candidates nationwide, it’s imperative that employers seek to reignite the flame with burned out employees such as Peter.

Here are four simple ways to bring back that new hire enthusiasm:

1. Get employees involved in the vision.

Everything employees do stems from the company vision -- where the company is going and how they’re going to get there. This is why vision statements should inspire, motivate and align employees.

While a mission statement will likely always stay the same, a company’s vision should evolve with the organization. When it comes time to update the vision, consider getting employees involved.

Inviting employee input when setting company-wide goals ensures that employees will really buy into them. Not only will they clearly understand the goals, but they’ll be able to set and align their own goals with those of the company. Being able to connect work to results will make for an enthused workforce.

2. Switch up the office environment.

Having a fun work environment isn’t just for kicks -- it affects everything from employee engagement to satisfaction to productivity. Yet, Gensler’s 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey of 2,035 workers revealed that only one in four U.S. workers are in optimal workplace environments.

HubSpot literally switches up its office environment every three months, when a large part of the company goes through a semi-random “seat shuffle.” Not only does this bring back the excitement we all felt as kids when we got assigned new seats in class, but it reflects the company's “change is constant” credo.

Related: How to Keep Good Employees From Looking for Other Jobs

Whether you opt for a new coat of paint (you’d be surprised how well that works), bring in some new office furniture or take a page out of HubSpot’s book, aim to break the workplace monotony.

3. Hold a friendly competition.

A little competition never hurt anyone. When it comes to the workplace, competition could be the key to reigniting new hire enthusiasm in long-time employees. Chicago-based custom software development firm Geneca found a way to spark both enthusiasm and innovation in employees with an in-house innovation challenge.

Think Shark Tank meets corporate America. The contest has three parts: a showcase of all the entries, a first round of judging and a final “shark tank,” where employees go head to head for all of the workplace glory. The prize? Resource support from the company to make the idea come to life.

Friendly competitions between coworkers are a great way to get employees’ creative juices flowing and a surefire way to bring excitement back into the workplace.          

4. Offer the ultimate incentive.

There are a number of ways to reward employees for a job well done. When it comes to workplace incentives, what employees really want is an opportunity to grow and advance within their role and the organization.

In fact, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 40 percent of the 600 employees surveyed in its 2014 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey link career advancement opportunities within their organization to overall job satisfaction.

Knowing that there’s a potential to climb the company ladder is both exciting and encouraging to long-time employees, as it provides something more for employees to work toward.  

What are some other ways you can get employees excited about work again? Feel free to share your tips in the comments section below!

Related: Employees Are Happier at Work, But Plan to Quit Anyway

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