Ever since her supervisor returned from a week long camping trip this summer, Jeanne has noticed that his usual interactions with his employees have been faltering. Where he typically would encourage and inspire his team to perform at their very best, Dave has been seemingly in his own world, letting his employees have free reign over projects and assignments. While autonomy to some degree can be a great motivator in and of itself, throwing your workers to the wolves is quite another story.

The team lead of Dave’s department, Jeanne is aware that Dave has been dealing with quite a lot in his personal life, and knows from personal experience how hard it can be to get back into the groove after a relaxing vacation. However, Jeanne needs her supervisor to step up and retake his managerial duties, which she has been picking up during his physical (and frankly, mental) absence.

A common situation many of us face in the workplace, what do you do when your supervisor, or someone who you wouldn’t necessarily manage (whether that be a coworker, your own manager, or a supervisor in another area) needs a bit of extra motivation to get them moving in the right direction again?

Show Your Appreciation – Managers. They’re just like us. When we get praise for a job well done, it boosts our self-esteem, leading to higher levels of productivity and more engagement in our work. Managers are no different. Let them know you appreciate their hard work and give thanks when they go the extra mile to help you out.

What Makes Them Tick? – On the flip side to motivating your employees by finding out what makes them tick, take the time to learn what gets your supervisors and coworkers going. So often in team environments it takes a village, and whether you’re at the top of the ladder or just starting out, when we all work together to stay engaged and driven we reach the end result in a happier, more effective manner.

Practice Empathy – Everyone has bad days. Your car breaks down, you’re late dropping the kids off at school, the cat gets sick, you get sick, etc. Any number of things can happen to put you in a funk. Remember that the same thing happens to managers; they’re human too and not holding them to unrealistic expectations and ideals means less stress for everyone.

Don’t Be a Thorn in Their Side – When your supervisors are already lacking the drive they need to perform at their best, the last thing they need is their employees causing even more problems. Be a part of the solution; try not to give them more to worry about (e.g., poor performance or behaviors) and work to provide ideas and suggestions that may give them the push in the right direction to get back into their groove.

We are all human and regardless of where we sit in the chain of command, what department we work in, or who we work under or with, everyone needs a bit of motivation from time to time. When we put our differences aside and work as a cohesive unit, the job gets done in an efficient manner, productivity doesn’t falter, and moods across the board stay elevated.