Reasons why employees are demotivated at workplace

A demotivated employee affects the overall business and team which creates a negative atmosphere.

With consequences such as increased absenteeism or lateness at work and lack of focus on daily tasks, other employees can become stressed when trying to pick up the slack.

With time, this can lead to further demotivation in the team, as colleagues feel overworked.

There are many reasons that cause workplace demotivation and low morale, and they vary depending on the individual some of which include;

Ignoring achievements

The distinct lack of employee motivation is the absence of praise, or simple recognition of a job well done. It’s not enough to know that you’ve done your work well: It’s vital that it’s seen as such by your peers and managers. A good team leader will instinctively understand when to recognize achievement and give praise.

Lack of security

It’s hard to feel motivated if you’re not sure how long you will be needed in your current role or where you will be in a year or two’s time. The most productive, motivated staff members, in contrast, will be those who feel that they have a long-term future with your company and can see opportunities on the horizon.

Short-term objectives with no career vision

In many cases, money is merely one part of an employee’s motivation. Most people want to have clear career objectives in place to feel that there is progression for them within their organisation. Career visioning can be a useful process in setting clear, long-term goals for an employee so that they can proactively work towards projected outcomes.

Feeling under-valued

If an employee feels that their efforts are not being recognised or appreciated, they’ll soon begin to lack energy and commitment in their role. It’s important to celebrate successes and give credit where credit’s due. Try to make sure that achievements are rewarded.

Inconsistent approach

The consistency of your management approach is another powerful factor that can, if not tended to, be one of the causes of demotivation. If employees feel as if they are being treated inconsistently, then motivation will plummet. A manager should have clear and consistent targets, and expectations of their team.


If the nature of your work is repetitive, it can be easy to lose interest. Find ways to engage your employees. Maybe a competition between employees for who can make the most sales. If you’re a uniformed workplace, consider having a casual day or theme day. Ask your employees what would improve their work environment. If your employees are engaged, there’s a better chance your business will engage clients.

No development opportunities

Regular training and development opportunities can help boost employee motivation and engagement. Most employees will value ongoing learning potential and the sense that they’re expanding and improving their skills and knowledge. If a workplace feels non-progressive, and uninspired  your employees’ motivation levels will fall back.

Lack of fairness

In a small business, it can be obvious when one employee is being treated differently from another employee. Unfairness can be subtle. Giving employees with children holidays off and scheduling single employees to work is one example of unfairness that can lead to resentment. Doing the same work but being treated differently can be extremely demotivating.

Poor leadership

Effective leadership is an essential factor in the motivation of your staff. If strong leadership is lacking or is negatively affecting the outlook of the team  certain employees may start to feel demoralised.  Leaders must have a flexible, inclusive approach to managing a team and be able to communicate clearly whilst instilling confidence and focus. If a particular team or individual is lacking motivation in your business, it may be due to a lack of good management.

Unrealistic workload

It’s important to keep a check on the expectations and demands that are being placed upon your employees. If someone feels overburdened by a large or even impossible workload, they can become stressed and lose motivation. Equally, if an employee has a workload that’s too light or not varied enough, they might quickly lose interest.

It’s important to keep your employees motivated to maintain or progress towards your intended business goals.

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