How To Kill Employee Motivation in 9 Quick Steps

Yes, you read that right. But who would want to demotivate their employees and increase turnover? Well, there are people who may not want that, but still do that unknowingly. Are you one of them? Read this article to find out.

Recent research in organizational behavior seems to suggest that for most employees, at some point in their career, salary becomes less important than workplace culture.

People who leave their jobs are not always dissatisfied with their salary. In fact, many people who quit their minimum wage job are seeking another minimum wage job. Why did they leave their previous employer then? They hated the work environment.

A boss has to do a lot more than telling people what they should do. He has to build a rapport with his employees. This is required to build trust. When employees have trust in their boss, they will work harder.

Many top level managers do not care about employee morale. They use just about any means to spur them into action. They don’t understand that the way they treat their employees has a huge impact on the productivity of their organization.

Generally speaking, organizations that treat their employees well retain talent and are more profitable. Each company has its unique corporate culture. In the same way, each manager has his or her unique managing style. There are still certain things that you should avoid if you want your employees to love their workplace.

Managers of both small and large organizations do several things that can have an adverse impact on their workplace culture. In many cases, they simply don’t realize that they are ruining their work environment. Here are nine things that demotivate employees.

You offer poor training

New employees don’t understand what they are supposed to do. They need training. If you don’t give them the training they need, they will inevitably make mistakes. Bad managers yell at their employees when they make mistakes and kill their morale.

You tolerate bad behavior

Some of the employees are unhappy with the way another employee behaves at the workplace. They complain about this, but you don’t do anything because you believe that that person has not done anything technically wrong. Maybe you are right, but upsetting one’s colleagues is not a good thing to do. As a manager, you have to address this issue. Otherwise, employees who behave well may be compelled to leave.

You have nothing to make your employees believe in the company’s mission

Yes, you have a mission statement, but just because it is there doesn’t mean that your employees will believe it. When you lay down the rules for your employees, you have to explain how those rules will fulfill your mission.

You don’t promote employees who do their job very well

You may be quite impressed with the performance of a certain employee. But just because they do their job very well, you can’t keep them in that position for ever. Your employees want to climb up the corporate ladder. If you hold them back, they will leave. So, if you are happy with an employee, help them grow and encourage them to groom others under them.

You promote rivalry by giving incentives

Contests that pit one employee against another are not exactly a great idea. These contests may cause resentment among your employees. Group incentives are better than individual incentives. They have to work together to receive group incentives. This encourages a team spirit.

You run competitions where one employee gets rewarded and the other doesn’t

You might assume that internal competition will encourage employees to work harder. Unfortunately, in a competition, only one person can win. Losers will hold grudges against the winners and the organization. Instead of holding competitions, you can hold activities that promote teamwork and cooperation.


So you have hired an exceptionally talented employee to perform a job that you can’t do on your own (either because you lack the time or the talent). Do you try to micromanage them? Do you allow them to do anything on their own? Some managers find it difficult to let go of control. If you find yourself in that situation, you have to remember the reason you hired that employee in the first place. By micromanaging them, you are making them feel useless. This will definitely demotivate them. Let them take a little charge.

You tell inappropriate jokes

Everybody loves a ‘cool’ boss who jokes around with them. Still, as a manager, you have to maintain the employer-employee relationship. Your employees have a professional relationship with you. There is no harm in letting them be their true self, but you should still be the boss and you have to conduct yourself appropriately.

You don’t communicate well

Many managers fail to communicate relevant information with their employees. While forgetting to wish your employee on their birthday or anniversary is not a big deal, not giving them enough information about a new assignment can kill their morale. Some managers assume that their employees only need a little direction to finish assignments. Give them a little more information. You should at least tell them why a particular assignment is important to the organization and then they will finish it ahead of the schedule.

You are a bad leader

Bad leaders ruin the entire organization, including the employees. Even the most talented employees require good leadership to thrive. Develop your own leadership skills first and then hire people with good leadership skills and nurture them.

You don’t value your employees’ time

If you always call meetings for no reason and send emails to all of your employees with irrelevant information, you are frustrating them. You have to learn to value your employee’s time.

If your workplace is plagued by any of these productivity killers, you should do everything you can to find a solution. Keep in mind that talented people do not stay for long in bad workplaces.

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