8 Ways You Could Be Demotivating Your Staff

By 26th January 2017 August 16th, 2019 Articles

Every good boss knows that the workforce is the backbone of a thriving business. Therefore, if you are the owner of a growing company, you have the responsibility to motivate your staff.

There are many advantages to motivating your workforce – not least the fact that it should spark productivity.  In light of this, here are eight ways that you could be inadvertently demotivating your staff.

1. Appearing inactive

You should really make a point to lead by example.  What does this mean?  Well, it means rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in whenever possible.  If you don’t do this, your staff might get the impression that you are just sitting back and leaving all the hard work to them.  Even if this isn’t true, the fact that it appears this way can lead to a demotivated and even bitter workforce.

2. Indifference towards performance

Your staff shouldn’t have to guess if they’ve done a decent job or not.  Instead, you should acknowledge their work – for better or worse.  This means praising those who have done well and taking appropriate action with those who haven’t.  This way your staff should be motivated to strive towards excellence at all times.

3. Micromanaging

Where possible, just let people get on with the job at hand without looking over their shoulder.  This should inspire self-confidence rather than having your staff doubt their own skills.  In turn, you will also find this develops a positive environment where your workforce is motivated to succeed.

4. Unclear instructions

Communication is vital in the workforce.  Therefore, you must remain clear at all times – whether you’re issuing a deadline or implementing a new strategy.  If you fail to do this, it can send a confusing message to your staff and they won’t be prompted to obey your orders to the best of their abilities.

5. No rewards

You shouldn’t have to dangle an incentive over someone’s head to get them to do their job.  But every now and then, this method is vital to show that you recognise hard work.  It’s especially important to rely on this technique when people go above and beyond what is expected of them.  If you don’t, why should they attempt to excel again in future?

6. A negative attitude

Obviously, you’re not expected to be smiling from ear to ear all day long.  But a negative frame of mind can cause a tense atmosphere and demotivate staff, especially when it’s completely unwarranted.  A can-do attitude is infectious and, with any luck, it should spread around the office.  Meanwhile, if you’re complaining and appearing stressed all the time, you can’t really blame your staff for echoing your attitude.

7. Going back on your word

Your staff will only remain motivated if they trust you and have unfaltering faith in your leadership.  Sadly, it only takes a single false promise to unravel this relationship.  Therefore, if you are routinely going back on your word, you can only imagine how demotivating it can be for your staff.

8. Promoting the wrong people

Your reasons for promoting someone should always be clear.  Firstly, they work the hardest.  Secondly, they deserve it over everyone else.  If a candidate doesn’t fit this criterion, it’s likely you’ve promoted the wrong person.  If your workforce clocks onto this, it can really take the wind out of their sails and stop them from thriving for perfection.

You can do it!

Running a business isn’t always easy and the best business owners know it’s perfectly acceptable to turn to help.  Whether you’re about to start a company or if your business is already up and running, you and your team can benefit from the services Delphinium Business Coaching offers.

Gemma Rolstone

Gemma Rolstone

Helping good managers to become great leaders