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5 Deadly Ways to Kill Employee Motivation

5 Deadly Ways to Kill Employee Motivation

|Apr 25, 2021

Motivation is one of the most powerful elements in any business. You need your workforce to carry out the tactical tasks that eventually feed into your long-term strategic goals. When your staff members are motivated, they actively want to do the best they can. Therefore, you are bound to see better productivity than ever.

There are so many ways you can go about keeping your staff morale high and avoid killing employee motivation. The best part is they do not all have to be materialistic. While it is nice to do an office furniture bulk order every once in a while to maintain an ergonomic office, as a leader, you must go beyond that to create the mindset you are hoping to achieve.

Are you unsure of what benefits a motivated workforce has to you? Well, these just skim the surface, but after reading them, you are likely going to take a vested interest in keeping your staff members engaged and avoid employee motivation mistakes:

  • Better productivity - As indicated before, a motivated worker is going to try harder and work smarter where possible. Such a person genuinely not only wants to get the job done, but also wants to do it as best as possible. Therefore, you are going to be seeing greater output per unit of input. This creates efficiency, which helps the business to maximize its returns. 
  • More ideas - Not all great ideas come from the top. As the people who are closest to the work being done, subordinates tend to have incredible ideas that can help the business to become more effective at achieving its goals. Demotivated employees are not going to be willing to share, but if you can motivate your team, you are likely to get some very impressive insights from them. 
  • Better conflict management - A motivated workforce tends to have a more positive outlook in the office. The lack of negative energy means that conflict is less likely. Even if grievances do pop up, the motivated mindset lends itself to a better conflict communication skill
  • Better relationships - Much of how successful a team is depends on the kind of work relationships that may be present. When employees feel motivated to be their best selves, it makes it that much easier for them to form lasting healthy work relationships with their colleagues. Additionally, there isn't any disgruntlement with the management team, which means the subordinate-manager relationship is also quite solid. 
  • Less turnover – An employee who feels engaged is less likely to leave the job. Remote employee engagement is just as important as traditional office employee engagement. The former may require more effort to achieve though, since feelings of isolation present a natural disadvantage in the remote context. Either way, should you motivate your workforce well, they are likely to stay with you for a long time.

Ways to Kill Employee Motivation

Just to be clear, this is not a list of instructions for you to intentionally destroy employee motivation. It is meant for you to use as a learning tool. If you are doing any of the things on this list, you need to stop immediately and course-correct before you lose your talent pool. Here are the ways to kill employee motivation that you should avoid at all costs.

Lack of Professional Development

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No one likes to feel stagnant. A big employee motivation mistake that many businesses make is to ignore the professional development of their workforce. People want to feel like they are moving to the next level and their lives are not wasting away.

You also do not want to have a generic development plan for everyone. Take the time to view each employee as an individual and establish a growth plan with the employee’s input and try not to kill employee motivation. That way, staff members feel like they get to grow, and they become motivated by the knowledge that their workplace cares for them. It can build a positive work culture for the workplace.

No Vision

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People must know where the focus is as they work. A lack of direction is going to make your employees unsure of why they are doing anything that they do and kill employee motivation. When it gets to that point, things begin to feel like a waste, which is undoubtedly going to affect how effective they can be.

Even if it is to help in setting individual and smaller objectives, everyone needs to fully understand what the big picture is, so they can all pull in the same and the right direction.

Bad Leadership

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Bad leaders can be enough to turn anyone away from an organization, regardless of how many benefits may be there and what the working conditions are. It can be a force to kill employee motivation. As a leader, you need to understand how to take the helm in the right manner. If you need to learn more on how to act in your position, invest in leadership training to make yourself more effective.

This goes double if you need to be able to motivate a remote team. You do not have the advantage of the face-to-face of his context, which means your motivational traits must be at their peak.

Vertical Management

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Vertical management was the traditional style of managing a team, and it was very effective if your goal was to kill employee motivation and it is such a big employee motivation mistake. Thankfully, businesses are transitioning from that style, and much of that has to do with keeping staff morale high.

A virtual management style is a dictator-type mode of operations where employees are expected to keep quiet and blindly follow whatever may come from management. No subordinate opinions or ideas are encouraged. It is not hard to see why anyone working under such conditions would have trouble staying motivated. 

Poor Communication

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Communication is one of the building blocks where employee management is concerned and it forms manager communication skills. When the communication chain is bad, relationships suffer, and people become unsure of what to do. It also leads to missing critical tasks, duplicating work, and a lack of information sharing.

One of the worst parts of it is that such environments facilitate and feed the rumor mill, and the ever so destructive grapevine becomes the most trusted communication method. If there is one thing that you get right as a manager, it must be to achieve a clear flow of communication and avoid this employee motivation mistake.

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