As a supervisor, you sometimes come across employees that are just not motivated. They seem to get "lost in the sauce" all the time. While employees like this can be hard to deal with. There is hope! Here are a few suggestions on things you can do to motivate them. 

1. Identify the issue. - Have a conversation with them regarding why they're not motivated. You wouldn't necessarily say that directly but you can ask "how are you enjoying working here?" The true answer to this will be hard to hide. You can already sense that they do not seem motivated, so once they answer regardless of what they say respond with "what can we do to make this experience better for you?" Or “Is there anything that we can do to help you with what you're working on”? Maybe this person is overwhelmed? Maybe this person doesn't know how to ask for help? Asking these questions shows that you care and they are more likely to open up to you.

2. Figure out why they are at the company -  In large organizations, you may be supervising someone that you did not hire or have a chance to meet during the interview process. So it would be good for you to know why they chose to work at your company. Is it just another paycheck? Would they like to have a career and it's not going in the right direction? Did they ask for more responsibility or opportunities and did not get it? Once you have this information, you can figure out how to motivate them.

3. Help them meet their objectives -  After you find out why they're working there, help them map out a plan to assist them in obtaining what they believe they need. For some, it could be confirming that if they work at a certain capacity they will be eligible for a promotion. For others, they might want to develop a particular skill set. It could also be that they are looking for a particular position in the company and they might feel like they are not on track.

4. Think big picture -  Employees like to know that supervisors care about their future.  Sometimes it helps to let them know exactly where their work falls into the big picture of the company. This also provides an opportunity for you to talk about their advancement in the company and what it takes to get there. These discussions allow employees to feel like they are valued and that you are actually interested in integrating them into the company.

5. Demonstrate their impact - Sometimes people are not motivated because they don't feel like what they do has an impact. Over time doing the same thing over and over again can become mundane. When you let your employees know where their work falls in terms of company structure, you should also let them know how what they do impacts the company. People want to feel like their work matters, so let them know.

6. Appreciate - Some employees just want to hear "great job", "You are doing so well at this". These accolades are actually very meaningful. Everyone wants to feel like their work is appreciated and noticed by their supervisors.  Whenever the opportunity arises, be sure to let them know that they are doing great work and that you value their contribution.

While this may seem like a lot of work for you to take on, if they are receptive you will see great changes in your employee’s attitude and work ethic.