WHAT KILLS MOTIVATION AT WORK?

by Justin Reynolds on Feb 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM
When employees are motivated, they are excited to show up to work every day and contribute. They’ll help their coworkers when it’s needed. They’ll brainstorm new ideas and routinely go above and beyond.
When they’re not motivated, it’s a whole different story. Work becomes dreadful, and they only do the bare minimum just so they can keep their jobs.

Successful companies are built on the backs of motivated employees. Conversely, organizations staffed by unmotivated employees likely won’t stick around that much longer. That being the case, let’s take a look at six common factors that kill employee motivation:

01. A lack of professional development opportunities

Many of today’s workers — especially millennials — are extremely interested in opportunities to grow as professionals and advance in their careers. Yet according to our 2015 Engagement Report, only 25% of employees believe that their organizations offer adequate opportunities for professional development. If an employee feels like they are stuck in a dead-end job, doing the same routine and tasks day in and day out, they won’t exactly be inspired to take initiative.

02. Toxic coworkers and a toxic culture

When workers get along with their colleagues and love company culture, they’re happy and engaged. When they hate their coworkers and loathe their company’s toxic culture, they tune out.

03. Too many unproductive meetings

Are your employees going from one meeting to the next? If your company has a ton of unproductive meetings — and meetings about meetings — there’s a good chance your employees are becoming increasingly unmotivated.

04. Terrible leadership and management

Employees will work hard when their bosses are great leaders with clear visions and enviable work ethics. When managers are hypocritical and seem to not really know what they’re doing, it’s a whole different story.

Companies cannot be successful if they’re managed by unskilled people who don’t lead by example. When you promote folks who don’t deserve it into managerial roles, employee motivation can disintegrate overnight.

05. Employee feedback is never requested

According to our Engagement Report, not even one out of every three employees feels valued at their job. No matter what kind of worker you are, odds are you like it when people listen to what you’re saying and ask for your input on important decisions. Your employees are no different. They put in as many hours as you do. Because they have different roles, they have different ideas — some of which may be truly game-changing.

If you never ask your employees what they think about new proposals or initiatives, they won’t be encouraged or feel any ownership of what they do every day.

06. The absence of transparency

If you’ve ever worked for a company which made a major decision that completely blindsided almost everyone, you know how cheated you can feel when an organization lacks transparency. Of course, companies aren’t expected to keep all of their employees in the loop regarding every little thing that’s on the horizon. But when management operates in secrecy and doesn’t keep employees looped in on major decisions, motivation is killed.

If your company is guilty of any of the above, take immediate steps to change the behavior. Otherwise, you won’t be able to reach your full potential. It’s that simple.