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8 Sure Fire Ways to Demotivate Employees

December 15, 2011

By: Omnia Group

For the most part, employee enthusiasm is determined by the work environment.  This can often be fostered or hindered by you…the boss!  Most employee demotivators do not seep into your corporate culture overnight and can often be difficult to eliminate.

Have you ever noticed how a new employee’s enthusiasm eventually wears off?  According to a Harvard Management Update survey, in 85% of companies, employee morale significantly drops off after their first six months on the job!

Are you stumped as to why?

You pay competitive wages, provide above-average benefits, and even have an employee recognition program in place. All great tactics to help retain your A-Players.  But something is wrong. Motivating workers to stay isn't enough…you must not motivate them to leave.

Managers must inspire employees to give their best effort, think out of the box, take risks, and unleash their hidden potential for success and achievement.

Look around your company…could YOU be what is sapping employee morale?

The answer would be YES if you are guilty of any of these 8 common employee demotivators!

1.  Providing little feedback.
Feedback is a frequent complaint and seems especially important to Gen X-ers. However, all employees need constructive feedback and direction to know how they are doing.
2.  Making unnecessary rules.
Every workplace needs some rules. Over time, though, rules and regulations stifle creativity and innovation. Morale drops as paperwork increases!
3.  Failing to communicate.
Keeping employees in the dark helps people focus on their work without worrying about how it fits into the grand scheme. Pretty soon, though, they stop caring about the pie and their piece or move on to a company that will share the big picture with them.
4.  Failing to correlate performance and pay.
When slackers receive the same pay as top performers, it sends the message that you don't have to perform to succeed.
5.  Failing to support a work/life balance.
Younger workers, who have seen parents thrown away like paper cups no matter how loyal they were to the company, have more in their lives than just work. It’s important to consider incentives like telecommuting. If a worker has an emergency come up and does not have childcare for the day, telecommuting is a great option to allow the worker to take care of life issues while keeping up with their work commitment.
6.  Failing to lead.
Job satisfaction, to a large extent, depends on how workers feel about their boss. More and more companies are abandoning management's old command styles because they don't work anymore.
7.  Public Criticism
Pointing out a worker’s mistake in front of others rarely yields a good response. Though some managers think public reproach keeps everyone else from making the same mistake—it usually just makes everyone feel bad and appears you are just trying to look good.
8.  Micromanagement
Possibly one of the worst demotivators! Employees need to feel trusted and valued to succeed—and micromanaging communicates the exact opposite.
Don’t forget to encourage your employees to have fun! When people work in an enjoyable environment, they are apt to be more creative, more productive, and remain enthusiastic and motivated in the long run!

Omnia Group

For over 30 years, we’ve helped organizations across the world improve and optimize their workforce operations and company cultures. While we take a unique, scientific approach to hiring, development and retention, we also believe every business is a people business. Our passionate advisors always put people first.

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