Six Sure Fire De-Motivators

Sirota Survey Intelligence conducted a survey among 1.2 million employees of more than 50 Fortune 1000 companies during 2001-2004. The purpose of the survey was to track de-motivation among employees. Interestingly, the results of the survey show that employee enthusiasm dropped significantly in around 85%of the companies surveyed after six months of employment. What is the reason behind this drop? While the reasons may be varied, there are some common factors that play a major role when it comes to de-motivating employees. In this article, we will take a look at the six most common de-motivators.

Six Reasons Why Employees Lose Motivation

Even when you pay competitive compensation and the whole range of employee benefits are available to your employees, they may lose interest in the job due to a de-motivating work environment. Here are the most common de-motivators that you should be aware of:

  1. Setting unrealistic goals – It is important to set a goal that is achievable for your employees. I am not saying that you should overlook the company’s interests when setting a target for your employees. However, it should not be unrealistic. A perfect goal is one that strikes the right balance between what you expect from your employees and what they can achieve. An unrealistic expectation will only de-motivate the workforce and reduce productivity.You may have heard of setting SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Attainable and Realistic, simple formula but effective.
  1. Deconstructive feedback or no feedback – Constructive feedback can guide your employees in the right direction. On the contrary, if you avoid giving feedback, or give deconstructive feedback to your employees, it simply lowers their morale. Whenever you get a chance, give constructive feedback in order to bring out the best in your team.  Remember giving what you think is constructive feedback only works if all the elements are in place, you use the right tone, you word it appropriately and in the right environment or situation.
  1. Rules for the sake of rules – An organization should have some rules and regulations in place to create systematic and organized operations. However, if you make rules that just increase the paperwork and don’t contribute to the welfare of the organization, chances are that it will be counter-productive for your organization. Before implementing any change in existing rules, you should discuss the changes with your employees.
  1. Criticizing in public – If you think criticizing one employee in front of others helps to convey a common message to all your employees, think again. Although there is nothing wrong with your idea, chances are that your employees will misinterpret public criticism as an attempt on your part to establish your authority or belittle team members. Eventually, this may de-motivate your employees.
  1. Useless meetings – Many employers have a misconception that gathering all the employees in the meeting room is a positive step towards increasing involvement of the employees. On the contrary, frequent meetings may have a negative impact on the work culture of your organization. Useless meetings and conferences may waste time and lower the moral of your employees to a large extent.  Make your meetings count.
  1. Minimum rewards – If you are reluctant to reward your top performers with bonuses or incentives, they may feel neglected. It is very important to pay as per performance. When the top performers and lazybones get the same salary and employee benefits from the company, it simply demoralizes the better performers.

The leadership skill of a boss also has a lot to do with employee motivation. The conventional command and control management method is no longer a feasible option. On the contrary, modern bosses should be friendly and understanding towards their employees, but show they are in control of things.


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