HOW YOU DEMOTIVATE YOUR EMPLOYEES: Signs Of Demotivation In A Workplace

How to demotivate employees
Image source: Inc42

The goal of every organization is to achieve growth. But in organizations where employees are demotivated to work, there are dire consequences. As an employer, then, how do you look out for signs of a lack of motivation in the workplace? And as an employee, how do you tell your boss that you are demotivated? Let’s see some of the factors that demotivate employees in this chapter.

How Do You Demotivate Your Employees?

Before managers can begin to create motivated and engaged employees, they must know the behaviors that demotivate them. The following are some of the worst workplace practices that managers must eliminate.

#1. Making Illogical rules. 

Companies must have rules—that is a given—but they do not have to be short-sighted and ineffective attempts to create order. Even a couple of superfluous regulations can drive people insane, whether it’s an aggressive attendance policy or seizing employees’ frequent flier miles. When good employees believe that Big Brother is watching them, they will look for another job.

#2. Failure to recognize accomplishments. 

It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially when dealing with high-performing individuals who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone appreciates praise, especially those who work hard and offer their all. Individual successes should be recognized since it demonstrates that you are paying attention. Managers must communicate with their employees to determine what makes them happy (for some, a raise; for others, public recognition) and then reward them for a job well done. If you’re doing it right, this will happen frequently with top performers.

#3. Hiring and promoting the incorrect people 

Good, hardworking individuals want to work with other professionals who share their values. When managers fail to perform the difficult work of employing good people, it is a big demotivator for those who are forced to work alongside them. It’s far worse to promote the wrong individuals. It’s a huge insult to work your tail off just to be passed over for a promotion that goes to someone who glad-handed their way to the top.

#4. Being fair to everyone. 

While this strategy works well with schoolchildren, it should not be used in the workplace. Treating everyone equally demonstrates to your top achievers that no matter how well they do (and, in most cases, top performers are workhorses), they will be treated the same as the bozo who does nothing but punches the clock.

#5. Accepting subpar performance. 

It is believed that in jazz bands, the band is only as good as its weakest link; no matter how good some members are, everyone hears the weakest link. The same is true for a business. Allowing weak links to exist without consequence drags everyone else down, especially your top achievers.

#6. Breaching commitments. 

When you make promises to people, you are walking a delicate line between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door. When you keep a pledge, you gain respect from your employees because you demonstrate that you are trustworthy and honorable (two very important qualities in a boss). On the other hand, when you ignore your commitment, you come across as slimy, indifferent, and disrespectful. After all, if the boss does not keep his or her promises, why should anyone else?

#7. Lack of interest. 

More than half of those who quit their jobs do so because of a disagreement with their supervisor. Smart businesses ensure that their managers understand how to be both professional and human. These are the employers that applaud an employee’s accomplishment, empathize with those who are struggling, and challenge employees even when it is painful. Bosses that do not care will always have a high turnover rate. Working for someone for eight or more hours a day is impossible when they aren’t personally involved and don’t care about anything other than your output.

How Do You Recognize The Signs Of Demotivation In The Workplace?

Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior or attitude. As a manager, developing strong relationships with your colleagues will help you identify when something isn’t quite right.

Some signs of lack of motivation in the workplace include:

  • Lack of timeliness – coming late for work or taking longer to begin work after getting to the office
  • Mood swings toward coworkers
  • Increased absenteeism.
  • Lack of concentration and aloofness from colleagues
  • Inappropriate or negative comments
  • Lack of input into team meetings.
  • Growing reluctance to accept more responsibility than the “basic minimum”

What Are The Consequences Of Having Demotivated Employees?

Demotivated employees can have negative consequences on the entire team, in addition to affecting an individual’s productivity. Furthermore, increased absenteeism or tardiness at work, as well as a lack of focus on daily tasks, can cause stress on other employees who must pick up the slack. This can lead to further demotivation in the team as colleagues feel overworked and underappreciated over time.

How to Tell Your Boss That You Are Demotivated

Managers may be unaware that their employees are demotivated in the workplace. Most employers would rather that their employees come to them to address the issue and find a solution rather than lose a wonderful employee and have to locate and train a replacement. 

Use the following steps to have a pleasant and constructive talk with your boss about the reasons you’re demotivated in the company:

#1. Recognize the issues

The first step should be to write down your feelings regarding your current job position. Determine what aspect of your employment is leading you to be dissatisfied. You can more easily identify the real issues if you write down or make a list of everything that is making you unhappy about your work situation. It also provides an outlet for any negativity you may be feeling before speaking with your manager.

#2. Plan out what you will say.

Next, think about what you’re going to say. Prepare a suggestion for improvement for each point. Provide a solution for each argument you make regarding why you are unhappy in your current circumstance. This will assist you in staying focused on problems that can be fixed and keeping the conversation constructive. Look for ways to improve efficiency or morale for the entire workforce or at least your department, if at all possible. If you are prepared with multiple positive solutions and are focused on the overall improvement of the company, your manager will be much more receptive during the meeting.

#3. Arrange a meeting

Schedule a meeting with your manager to ensure they have a block of uninterrupted time. When you schedule the meeting, inform them that you would want to discuss some ideas you have for strengthening the company or enhancing employee morale. This will assist them in approaching the meeting with an open mind, increasing the likelihood that they will be open to your suggestions.

#4. Keep an eye on your body language.

It is critical to observe your body language during the meeting to ensure that it remains positive from start to finish. Maintain eye contact, keep your shoulders back, smile, and try to inject humor whenever possible and appropriate. Shake your manager’s hand firmly at the end of the meeting and express your gratitude for their time. Implement it clear that you are certain that by working together, you will be able to make improvements that will benefit everyone in your department.

#5. Describe your demotivation.

Express your problems in a positive manner. You can be respectful when communicating with your management about issues with which you are dissatisfied. Avoid blaming your boss or any other employees in your organization. Instead, explain calmly how you’ve been feeling about your employment and why you haven’t been as enthusiastic about your work recently.

#6. Provide solutions

To counteract any negativity, give a list of potential alternatives right away. This will demonstrate to your management that you have considered the issue and are eager to find a solution. It demonstrates that you are a problem solver who accepts responsibility for your career. A good way to approach this conversation is to couple each worry with a solution that will benefit both you and the organization.

#7. Seek suggestions

If you don’t have any ideas about how to tackle the problem, utilize the meeting to solicit thoughts from your management. This is especially important if your problem includes another coworker. In this case, your manager may have suggestions about how to enhance the relationship. They might be able to offer strategies that have worked in the past. If they don’t have any suggestions or if you’ve previously tried those tactics, you can come up with new ones together.

What You Can Do To Increase Motivation

Once you have eliminated the behaviors that demotivate your employees, you can use these tips to increase their motivation:

#1. Adhere to the platinum rule. 

The Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated) has a fatal flaw: it implies that everyone wants to be treated equally. It ignores the fact that humans are driven by a wide range of factors. One person enjoys being the center of attention, while another despises it. The Platinum Rule (treat people as they like to be treated) addresses this issue. Good managers are excellent at reading individuals and adjusting their behavior and style accordingly.

#2. Be firm without being brusque. 

A leader’s strength is a crucial trait. People will wait to see if a leader is strong before deciding whether or not to follow him or her. People expect courage from their leaders. They want someone who can make difficult judgments while also looking out for the good of the group. They require a leader who will maintain the course when things become difficult. People are significantly more willing to display their own strength when their leader does so. Many leaders confuse dominating, controlling, or unpleasant actions for power. They believe that by taking control and pushing people around, they will gain a dedicated following. Strength is not something you can impose on people; it must be earned by exhibiting it repeatedly in the face of hardship. Only then will people trust you enough to follow you.

#3. Always keep in mind that communication is a two-way street.

Many managers believe they are excellent communicators, yet they are only communicating in one way. Some people take delight in being friendly and easy to talk to, but they don’t actually listen to what others have to say. Some managers don’t create goals or provide context for the tasks they assign, while others never provide feedback, leaving employees wondering whether they’re more likely to be promoted or dismissed.

#4. Be a role model rather than a preacher. 

Great leaders inspire admiration and trust via their deeds as well as their words. Many leaders claim that integrity is vital to them, but great leaders demonstrate integrity every day. Harping others about the conduct you want to see has a fraction of the influence that displaying that behavior yourself has.

#5. Be open and honest. 

Good managers are open and honest about the company’s goals, expectations, and strategies. Employees see right through bosses who sugarcoat, disguise, or euphemize to make things appear better than they are.

#6. Maintain your humility. 

Few things sap motivation faster than arrogance from a boss. Great employers don’t act superior to you because they don’t believe they are superior to you. Rather than being a source of prestige, they see their position as increasing their accountability to serve people who follow them.

#7. Show real concern for employees’ work-life balance

Nothing burns out good employees faster than overwork. It’s so easy to overwork your finest employees that managers routinely fall into this trap. Overworking good personnel confuses them; it makes them feel as if they are being penalized for their outstanding performance. Overworking employees is also ineffective. According to new Stanford research, production per hour reduces sharply when the workweek reaches 50 hours, and productivity drops so dramatically beyond 55 hours that you don’t get anything out of the extra labor.

What Kills a Good Employee?

Lack of motivation is a direct result of employee burnout. Overwork is a surefire way to wear out even the most dedicated workers, but being overworked without any form of recognition seems to go hand in hand with poor management.

How do you Lead an Unmotivated Team?

By providing opportunities for input. It’s frustrating to feel like your opinion doesn’t count just because you don’t hold a position of authority. All team members, not just the leaders, should feel safe voicing their opinions and suggestions. Make plans and establish objectives that can be accomplished by everyone.

How do you Disempower an Employee?

Ignoring an employee’s feedback is a quick way to reduce their influence. A member of staff’s self-assurance can quickly erode if he or she believes they are not being heard or respected in the workplace or with regard to specific projects.

What Destroys Morale?

Low morale can be caused by rude behavior, such as disregarding team members, ignoring good ideas, taking credit for others’ work, failing to build rapport, or coming across as arrogant.

What Demotivates you to come to work every day?

Unmotivation can have many causes, but stress and anxiety at work are common. Some workers’ morale and drive are drained by persistent pressure from above, whether from micromanagement or from an unfounded fear of losing their jobs.

Is it okay to be Demotivated?

Sometimes you just won’t feel like working, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’ve been avoiding a certain assignment for the past few days, or a recently assigned project has sapped your enthusiasm. If you’re feeling this way, it can be next to impossible to get anything done. That’s fine by me.

Is having no Motivation being Lazy?

The absence of motivation can be understood as a lack of enthusiasm. Lack of purpose, motivation, and effort. When you’re feeling lazy, you don’t do anything; you can’t fake it. A lack of motivation often indicates a more serious underlying mental health issue, such as depression.

In Conclusion,

As an employee, you may not know that you demotivate your employees in some way. This affects the productivity of your staff and leads to your losing some of your treasured staff. Hence, learning about the factors that demotivate employees and how to eliminate these factors will go a long way to creating a healthy workplace for your team.

FAQs On How You Demotivate Your Employees

What factors demotivate employees?

The factors that demotivate employees include:

  • Lack of flexibility.
  • Short-term objectives with no career vision.
  • Feeling under-valued.
  • No development opportunities.
  • Poor leadership.
  • Conflict.
  • Unrealistic workload.

Who is a toxic employee?

A toxic employee is one who exhibits traits like overconfidence, productiveness, a self-centered attitude, and blindly following the rules.

Is it OK to tell your boss you're unhappy?

It is not just ok to tell your boss you’re unhappy, it’s the right thing to do.

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