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13 Inspiring Ways to Motivate Your Employees Out of a Rut


Employees can easily become stuck in a rut when they complete the same routine tasks daily. Typically, they don’t feel challenged, so their creative juices dry up somewhat. This in turn makes them less creative, demotivated and dissatisfied with their job, which leads to poor performance and low productivity at work.

It’s not easy to create motivation – especially if you employ minimal staff, have a limited budget and can’t sustain downtime. You’ll need every employee to perform at optimum levels during working hours to meet your organizational goals. So, just how can Management motivate employees, when they are stuck in a rut, without overshooting their budget?

Push your teams to improve performance: People get into a rut because they are performing routine tasks that require minimal brain work and they’re not learning. It’s important to cultivate a work environment where learning is continuous.

No matter how successful you are, never kick back or relax because you’re at the top, but instead set new goals and provide opportunities for your employees to develop. Send them out on workshops and training, so that they are on top of all the latest findings and innovations within your field.

Create a special day: Give your employees something to look forward to. It could be a day where they just sit around and bond, share jokes or socialize. In short, let them have some fun.

Expert Christina Galoozis suggests video games after work as a way to foster bonds and relax. It is inexpensive, motivates employees and subsequently yields results.

Offer extra perks: It’s no coincidence that some of the top organizations in the world are those that take care of their employees, right down to small perks such as free workplace lunches, haircuts, as well as recreational and lounge areas.

Allow employees to place items on their desk or office that might enhance their creative thinking. This includes a plant, artwork, colours on the walls or even pictures.

Help them figure out why they’re in a rut: 55% of individuals in the workforce feel they have a job, not a career. You get used to how things work and after a while, it becomes boring and harder to find inspiration.

Your manager could switch your team or project to see if that’s the specific cause of the slump. Sometimes, it could involve moving you to a different unit when you feel like a fresh challenge.

Focus on what’s going well: You might be feeling dissatisfied with your job right now, but don’t rush to hand in your resignation letter just yet. Take a few minutes each day to identify a few things that you’re thankful for in your current job. Gratitude is a robust antidote to adaptation.


Offer employees the chance to improve a particular skill: It’s important to identify the type of work you enjoy, against that you perform as a task. If you’re constantly being asked to compromise on a task you have no interest in, you could easily fall into a rut.

Therefore, offer employees the chance to improve skills in which they’re interested. This improves output, enhances job satisfaction and increases their ability to grow your business.

Ask your employees what they want: It might seem daunting, but sometimes, this is the simplest way to get to the root of the problem. You can conduct a survey, hold a brainstorming session or ask them directly during performance reviews.

This helps you set a clearer goal that is beneficial to both the employee and the company.

Step out of your comfort zone: New challenges are inspiring in their own way. There is no sense of feeling challenged if you’re at the top of your field and performing work functions that feel monotonous.

During the launch of Umbrellar Azure Stack, Robert Rolls, Head of Online Business at Umbrellar (a New Zealand Web Hosting Provider) admonished business owners in attendance to always encourage their employees to switch things up by moving across various departments. He stated that it is an act he carries out to re-energize employees’ attitude to work, sparks excitement and make them eager to learn, improve and deliver.

Build a sense of community: Community is very important for any gathering of people. Companies where employees feel interconnected, enjoy better performance, because employees are happier.

Feeling stuck in your own world or isolated in a project you’re carrying out alone leads to a slump in performance. Involve your colleagues in conversations, host social gatherings, ask them what’s going on in their lives outside of work and foster workplace connections amongst team members.

Become a better motivator: As a team leader or employer, it’s important to listen and understand what your employees say, foster internal motivation amongst team members and create environments of mastery, autonomy and purpose.


Conquer the fear of failure: A common reason why your employees might be in a rut is the fear that their ideas aren’t good enough. The fear of failure is crippling and hinders innovation.

It’s important that you master the art of brainstorming by creating a safe environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and learning at the same time.

Incorporate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Research has shown that contrary to public opinion, reward decreases productivity, narrows the possibilities of performance, and dulls thinking.

You must understand the core desires that push your employees to take action. Maslow suggests that the needs of people must be met in a specific order for motivation to be successful. Work your way up from the most basic needs and examine the core behaviours that fuel motivation.

Expose your team to different perspectives: It’s easy to dwell in a filtered world where you listen to the same podcast, Ted Talks, watch the same news and read the same feeds.

This is a dangerous situation that doesn’t let you gain new perspectives. Therefore, expose your team to different perspectives within your field. By touching upon varying schools of thought, numerous skills and ideas collide to form a brilliant idea, that is sometime out of the box.


Most of these steps won’t cost a penny. You can help your employees improve performance simply by showing them that you care and making the workplace fun and exciting so they feel inspired and eager to come to work.

When employees view their jobs as a long-term career in which they want to grow, it’s much easier to motivate them out of a rut.

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