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Monday, June 8, 2020

10 Ways You’re Demotivating Your Employees That You Need To Stop Right Now

Organizations know how important it is to have motivated, engaged employees, but most fail to hold managers accountable for making it happen. Most managers don’t demotivate their employees on purpose. They act improperly without thinking about what damage they are doing to the enthusiasm and motivation of their employees.

Few things are as costly and disruptive to a business as managers who kill morale. Demotivated employees underperform, and then jump ship at the first opportunity.

What follows are some of the worst behaviors that managers need to eradicate from the workplace.

1. Making a lot of stupid rules. Companies need to have rules—that’s a given—but they don’t have to be short sighted and lazy attempts at creating order. Whether it’s an overzealous attendance policy or taking employees’ frequent flier miles, even a couple of unnecessary rules can drive people crazy. When good employees feel like big brother is watching, they’ll find someplace else to work.

2. Letting accomplishments go unrecognized. It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everyone likes kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Rewarding individual accomplishments shows that you’re paying attention. Managers need to communicate with their people to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top performers, this will happen often if you’re doing it right.

3. Hiring and promoting the wrong people. Good, hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals. When managers don’t do the hard work of hiring good people, it’s a major demotivator for those stuck working alongside them. Promoting the wrong people is even worse. When you work your tail off only to get passed over for a promotion that’s given to someone who glad-handed their way to the top­­­­­­­, it’s a massive insult. No wonder it makes good people leave.

4. Treating everyone equally. While this tactic works with school children, the workplace ought to function differently. Treating everyone equally shows your top performers that no matter how high they perform (and, typically, top performers are work horses), they will be treated the same as the bozo who does nothing more than punch the clock.

5. Tolerating poor performance. It’s said that in jazz bands, the band is only as good as the worst player; no matter how great some members may be, everyone hears the worst player. The same goes for a company. When you permit weak links to exist without consequence, they drag everyone else down, especially your top performers.

6. Going back on their commitments. Making promises to people places you on the fine line that lies between making them very happy and watching them walk out the door. When you uphold a commitment, you grow in the eyes of your employees because you prove yourself to be trustworthy and honorable (two very important qualities in a boss). But when you disregard your commitment, you come across as slimy, uncaring, and disrespectful. After all, if the boss doesn’t honor his or her commitments, why should everyone else?

7. Being apathetic. More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Bosses who fail to really care will always have high turnover rates. It’s impossible to work for someone eight-plus hours a day when they aren’t personally involved and don’t care about anything other than your productivity. 

8. Micromanaging and not empowering. It’s difficult to take ownership and focus on being productive with your boss leaning over you, monitoring your every move—like a babysitter. When managers demand to sign off on all work assignments, employees are often left waiting for approval on several projects at a time and find themselves scrambling to meet looming deadlines. Micromanaging kills creativity, chases away top talent, and results in average workers.

9. Not encouraging development and offer opportunities for growth. Repeating the same tasks and responsibilities, without new challenges, can negatively affect our attitudes, and this is no different in the work environment. Employees understand that continued learning is the best way to remain current and employable, so to ignore this will only hinder your employees, and your business. If a workplace feels stagnant, non-progressive and uninspired – your employees’ motivation levels will soon dwindle.

10. Poor leadership. Effective leadership is an essential factor in the motivation of your staff. If strong leadership is lacking or is negatively affecting the outlook of the team – certain employees may start to feel demoralized.  Leaders must have a flexible, inclusive approach to managing a team and be able to communicate clearly whilst instilling confidence and focus. If a particular team or individual is lacking motivation in your business, it may be due to a lack of good management.

Many companies treat employees as disposable. Employees generally receive inadequate recognition and reward. Many say management is much more likely to criticize them for poor performance than praise them for good work.

Management inadvertently makes it difficult for employees to do their jobs. Excessive levels of required approvals, endless paperwork, insufficient training, failure to communicate, infrequent delegation of authority, and a lack of a credible vision contribute to employees' frustration.
Most companies have it all wrong. They don't have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them.

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