Demotivation is a killer in the workplace

As a motivational speaker, my work often revolves around addressing the pervasive issue of workplace demotivation

Demotivation is a killer in the workplace

Whether it’s consistently arriving late, delivering only the bare minimum, a lack of focus, or the prevalence of negative comments, we’ve all encountered demotivation at some point in our professional lives.

Consider yourself fortunate if you haven’t, as a Gallup study has unveiled a startling statistic: a mere 15% of workers worldwide feel genuinely engaged in their work. You might wonder, 

Why is this the case?

The answer lies in the insidious nature of demotivation, which can spread through a workplace like wildfire if left unattended. Despite its apparent visibility, demotivation often finds its way into offices, causing a ripple effect of reduced productivity and employee disengagement.

At first glance, they may appear almost indistinguishable, and this misconception leads to a colossal mistake made by many managers who inadvertently conflate the two.

Demotivation often arises from a variety of factors, including a lack of recognition, unclear goals, or even strained workplace relationships. It’s driven by external influences, and it can creep into an otherwise thriving work environment. The result? Decreased morale, diminished productivity, and a workforce that feels disconnected from their roles.

Laziness, on the other hand, is a different beast altogether. It typically reflects an individual’s reluctance to exert effort, even when the motivation is present. This might stem from personal factors or an attitude problem. Confusing demotivation with laziness can lead to mismanagement and the implementation of ineffective solutions.

Here are 4 key pointers to detecting a demotivated (not lazy) employee:

  • A change in an employee’s behaviour
  • A loss of passion 
  • A decrease in work-output 
  • Increased absence from work 

If you spot any of these in an employee, then you may have a case of demotivation on your hands. Lucky for you, we have some top tips to get the ball of motivation rolling again: 

Master their motivators 

As a leader, knowing what motivates your team is so important. Finding out what gets your team (as individuals and as a whole) out of bed in the morning can really help you to engage them more in the workplace as well as help them to feel valued and respected. 

Frequent feedback! 

In the words of Ken Blanchard, ‘feedback is the breakfast of champions’. Offering your team regular feedback and recognising when they are SMASHING IT! will really help to motivate your team. 

Promote progression

Most employees will want the opportunity to progress in their job roles, and when this isn’t available, they are likely to lose motivation. Promoting job progression and training courses can help to switch things up and increase motivation in the workplace.

Be a guide

As a team leader, the morale, productivity and motivation of your employees lies in your hands. An incredibly shocking statistic from Totaljobs shows us that half of UK workers quit their jobs due to poor relationships with their managers. You can increase motivation by making sure that you are supporting your team and frequently interacting with them, which leads me to my fifth and final point…

Communicate effectively

Communication is the glue that holds our workplaces together, when this breaks down, so does everything else. Ensuring that two-way communication is always available and encouraged is a great way to keep motivation at a high! Getting your employees to ask questions and engage in meetings can help them to feel heard at work. 

Implementing these five tips into your workplace can have a huge impact on motivation and engagement. As a leader, your team is your responsibility so ensuring that you are always guiding them to reach their maximum potential is imperative for them and for the business. 

Alison Edgar MBE
Alison Edgar MBE

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