8 Deadly Ways to Kill Employee Motivation
Employee motivation plays an integral role in their ability to complete tasks successfully, so it’s vital that employees keep their morale high at work.
Leaders need to avoid common errors that erode employee motivation. Here are 8 Deadly Ways to Kill Employee Motivation that include: 1. Micromanaging.
1. Lack of Direction
A successful manager can create an environment of encouragement and clear direction to ensure employees understand their roles within company goals. Conversely, an ineffective manager may lower employee morale with unclear or inconsistent instructions and lack of regard for team or department members’ wellbeing.
Some managers become trapped in management ruts and lose sight of what makes an effective leader. For instance, an anxious manager who fears letting their staff execute a project on their own may instead micromanage. Such micromanagement breeds lack of trust between staff members and management which ultimately decreases morale among workers.
If your supervisor engages in such behaviors, you should meet privately to address them. Be ready to explain any problems you’re encountering with her leadership style and request improvements to your working relationship. Furthermore, reach out to other leaders within the department in case they can provide additional information, advice, or support; perhaps acting as neutral mediators could even help defuse the situation.
2. Lack of Accountability
A culture of mistrust can develop when someone consistently misses deadlines, fails to complete assigned tasks, or can’t be relied upon to keep promises made by leadership. Such individuals make change difficult to implement and new projects even harder to take on.
To keep your best people motivated, it is essential that all team members – leaders included – are held accountable. A vertical management style in which one leader overshadows another without ever taking time to know his/her team members personally can be extremely demotivating; to counteract this effect, ensure you check in regularly with everyone on the team.
Provide them with new challenges and opportunities to develop. If one of your star employees appears to have plateaued, have an informal conversation to see what may be going on – don’t make the mistake of giving the cold shoulder or firing them; that will only drive away employees who want to work hard and be productive from your business.
3. Lack of Feedback
Managers should strive for an appropriate ratio of criticism-to-praise that addresses their teams’ individual needs and goals.
Apart from offering feedback on employee performance, it’s also essential that team members feel appreciated as individuals. A simple “Thank you for your effort” can go a long way towards keeping motivation levels high among team members.
Employees whose managers don’t provide adequate feedback may become demoralized and reduce productivity, leading them down the path of decreased performance. An informal poll conducted during an SHRM webcast on this subject revealed that 80 percent of participants believed their managers did not offer useful performance feedback – this inadequacy costing your business considerable amounts in lost time and energy.
Micromanagers can be detrimental to team morale and productivity. By constantly micromanaging minute details that don’t impact the larger project or task at hand, micromanagers leave employees feeling deflated and discouraged.
These managers tend to get a bad rap – and it’s easy to see why. Their management style does not include effective communication, respectful coaching and empowering leadership techniques; their focus lies primarily on their own authority rather than placing the needs of their people first.
Micromanagers typically fear something will go awry if they do not exert tight control over every detail of every project, which often stems from insecurity and a fear of losing their hard-earned reputation. To address this problem, micromanagers must take time to explore their motivations for acting negatively before making a commitment to change their behaviors – this requires courage but could help boost morale and productivity among employees.
5. Not Giving Enough Freedom
Workers today desire greater freedom than ever to direct projects on their own and run them according to their interests. When workers feel as though their efforts have value even when not perfect, it motivates them to continue pushing hard towards growth and improvement.
Micromanaging employees is one of the surest ways to undermine employee motivation. When managers constantly micromanage, second-guessing each step and criticizing creative solutions, this can stifle innovation while decreasing confidence in oneself as an employee and creating tension between manager and employee that results in lack of trust between both.
Employees that feel underappreciated will become disgruntled over time and begin looking elsewhere for higher pay and opportunities for professional advancement. A simple way to reinvigorate team enthusiasm at their job is giving them an exciting project to work on that will stretch their talents, then encouraging them to set milestones along their progress and check in frequently with you and a mentor they trust as support systems.
6. Not Providing Downtime
Reducing employee productivity costs businesses dearly; for every hour of disruption that arises from equipment breakdown, project bottlenecks or customer interactions that don’t occur directly; they could incur expenses in excess of $100K – depending on industry and nature of disruption.
Downtime costs extend far beyond lost revenues; they also include reputational damage, regulatory noncompliance issues and potential legal ramifications associated with data breaches. When employees experience downtime at their workplaces, morale takes a hit resulting in burnout, job dissatisfaction and high turnover rates among them.
Making sure employees have the time off they need to recharge and relax can boost motivation in staff members. Companies should take measures to increase downtime for team members by offering unlimited vacations and flexible scheduling arrangements. Furthermore, encouraging smarter work practices using apps like Beekeeper for remote work as well as permitting employees to bring personal devices during working hours can reduce downtime by keeping in touch with colleagues while decreasing risks of data loss. Finally, financial wellness initiatives provide tools that give staff members security with their finances – another powerful motivator.
7. Ignoring Professional Development
Professional development is an integral component of employee motivation and advancement in their careers. By offering them opportunities to learn and expand their skill set while showing that both managers and employers care about their future success, professional development programs play a crucial role.
Unfortunately, too often organizations don’t provide their teams with sufficient professional development opportunities – a grave oversight which can quickly stifle employee motivation when an underlying skills gap hinders performance on the job.
While many will point to below-market pay, heavy workloads and delayed wages as obvious sources of employee morale erosion, there may be less obvious ways an organization can kill team spirit. When an outstanding performer procrastinates and ends up fined by management for it, or the CEO publicly berates an employee for missing project deadlines – these types of actions can have devastating effects on morale.
Most people want their lives to move forward rather than stagnate, which is why creating an enjoyable team environment with professional development opportunities, equitable remuneration packages and clear goals is so essential.
8. Running Your Department Like a Prison
Treating your teammates as production equipment is the quickest way to destroy departmental morale. Each person brings expertise and passion to a job they care deeply about; treating them like production machines would be insulting. Furthermore, when team members become subservient to managers instead of working hard at contributing their full talents towards company goals they become dismotivated to put forth effort or contribute their expertise fully.
Failure to invest in their team members’ professional development is one of the biggest mistakes C-suite leaders can make, yet many successful managers recognize its significance and make sure it remains a priority for their staff members’ growth. They understand the risks of neglecting this essential resource.