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Workplace Demotivation: What Employers Can Do to Reduce It

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Demotivation is the greatest killer of productivity, engagement, communication, and practically every other positive thing in the workplace. More than that, it can also lead to high turnover rates, which causes a whole new set of problems in and of itself.

These are enough reasons for employers to fight demotivation in the workplace before it’s too late and employees start looking at their other professional options. There is no perfect cure for employee demotivation, however, much less a one-size-fits-all approach that can work for all types of workplace cultures.

That said, the best approach may be to use a combination of these strategies to bring motivation levels back up in the workplace:

  1. Invite motivational speakers

Motivational speakers like Gostick and Elton who specialize in employee engagement speaking can help teams build resilience, drive away workplace fears and anxiety from within, as well as help managers learn how to handle their subordinates more effectively. While a motivational speaking session may not be enough to address demotivation issues in the workplace, it can spark the movement towards building a healthier environment and, in the process, show employees that their company cares.

  1. Address poor leadership

Just because a team is high-performing, it doesn’t automatically mean that they are under good leadership. More often than not, poor leadership yields poor results. Sometimes, however, poor leadership can still produce great results because the team itself is made up of exceptional individuals. This can’t go on indefinitely, though. Sooner or later, the price of bad leadership will have to be paid—and it comes at the cost of employee motivation, loyalty, and physical and mental well-being.

Micromanagement, bad conflict resolution, and disengagement are just a few examples of poor leadership. By addressing the problem at the root—whatever that may be—employers can build management teams that are better at engaging, handling, and motivating employees. Everything else follows.

  1. Provide better job security

Another common cause of workplace demotivation is the lack of job security. After all, who would want to give their best when they are unsure if they can keep their job in the long term? Employees are quick to jump from a sinking ship, leading to high turnover rates that, in turn, cause instability.

Providing better job security for employees is often easier said than done. To show loyalty, employers would have to address high turnover rates first, which can require a lot of work. For instance, if employees are resigning due to low salaries, the company may have to do a major compensation overhaul in order to motivate people to stay.


  1. Allow for flexibility

Flexibility is an important factor for many employees nowadays, especially for the younger generation. With remote work becoming the norm during the pandemic, employees now recognize the value of being able to work from anywhere they want and not being stuck in an office every day. In fact, employees who have embraced the new normal are quitting their jobs instead of giving up remote work, having seen the value of work-life balance.

A great way to motivate employees to stay—pandemic or not—is to offer flexibility. Offering work-from-home options is a great start, but employers can also experiment with allowing employees to work compressed workweeks or doing hybrid work (going to the office on some days and working from home for the rest of the week).

  1. Address workplace bullying

Bullying is a very common problem in the workplace, although it may not be apparent as adults bully other people in ways that can be considered “normal” in the workplace. It can be anywhere from gossiping to downright antagonizing other people in a seemingly “professional” manner. And oftentimes, bullying comes from managers and senior employees.

Bullying is a major problem for HR. It is difficult to address bullying issues if people do not complain about them, much less accuse anyone of bullying without solid evidence. Thus, HR managers have to take it upon themselves to step up when they notice certain employees consistently creating unpleasant environments for others in the workplace.

  1. Avoid unrealistic workloads

Giving too much work is counterintuitive to maintaining good productivity. When there is too much on an individual’s plate, most people’s motivation levels fall through the floor, which then affects their productivity levels as well as their willingness to stay.

That said, employers must set realistic workloads for all employees—starting from the very top down to the bottom rung of the organization. Not only does this help improve workplace motivation by promoting better work-life balance, but it also helps increase productivity levels significantly.

These are just some ways employers can address demotivation issues in the workplace. There are plenty of other causes of demotivation, but every one of them has a corresponding solution. Whatever the reason may be, there is always a workaround to low motivation levels in the workplace.

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