In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher talks about demotivation and the activities organizations unintentionally allow to happen to demotivate their employees.
Organizations may not have a set in stone demotivation strategy, but it is working.
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| Welcome to Relationships At Work – the guide for emerging leaders to create a workplace we love. I’m your host Russel Lolacher I’m a communications and leadership nerd with a couple of decades of experience and a heap of curiosity on how we can lead and work together to improve the employee experience. This show is a great resource to help us with that.
Every week on the show, I talk with a local or global leader on topics that are help to you to improve the workplace. We’ve tackled negativity, reimagining leadership, imposter syndrome, diversity, communication, empathy, activism, burnout, mental health, and so many other topics. And now, as an added bonus, I’ll be sharing an additional episode pulled from the pages of our weekly R@W Note which you can subscribe to. A quick and valuable bit of information on top of our regular show.
So for our first R@W Note I’m passing you… Do You Know Your Demotivation Strategy?
According to a Gallup survey conducted in 2021, only 36% of U.S. employees are engaged in their jobs, while 14% are actively disengaged. Now look at that middle 50%. This means that a majority of employees, 50%, are not engaged in their work or are only partially engaged, which can have negative impacts on their job performance, productivity, and overall well-being. Former guest Jeff Toister posted on Linkedin something that has resonated with me for a while that I had to share. He wrote that "if you hired right, your employees started with plenty of motivation. But something happened along the way. They encountered:
Broken systems, siloed departments, inflexible policies, insufficient training, lacking empowerment, etc.
Those issues demotivate your team. Fix them, and you'll restore their natural desire to make a difference for customers." STORY I was looking at my own career and those I talk to I their jobs. Whenever I’ve felt demotivated, it had far more to do with what I wanted to remove than what I wanted to get. For example, seeing someone at work get promoted or rewarded when everyone knows they are horrible to people, cause stress in everyone around them and trigger horrible burnout in their staff. As an employee, you’re seeing what is held up as the ideal and you know that even though you’re great at your work, you’re not that kind of person.
So why try?
Demotivation. Many organizations talk about engagement strategies but what if we actively addressed our passive and unintended demotivation strategy? I understand we don't do this intentionally... but we do DO this. And these demotivating factors quickly fall under the umbrellas of "not a priority" "always done it like this" or "too busy right now" while HR teams are tasked with coming up with a plan to get engagement metrics up. What are these demotivating areas:
1. Lack of recognition and appreciation: When employees feel that their efforts are not being recognized or appreciated, they can become demotivated. This can happen when managers fail to acknowledge their contributions or give credit where it's due. 2. Poor communication: When managers fail to communicate effectively with their employees, it can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and demotivation. Employees need clear direction, goals, and feedback in order to perform their best.
3. Micromanagement: When managers micromanage their employees, it can make them feel like they're not trusted or valued. This can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation.
4. Unfair treatment: When employees feel that they're being treated unfairly. This can happen when managers show favoritism, play politics, or make decisions that seem arbitrary or unjust.
5. Lack of opportunities for growth and development: When employees feel like there's no room for growth or advancement, they can become demotivated. This can happen when managers fail to provide training or opportunities for career development.
6. Overwork and burnout: When employees are overworked or constantly stressed, it can lead to burnout and demotivation. This can happen when managers fail to manage workloads effectively or provide adequate support.
7. Negative workplace culture: When the workplace culture is toxic or negative, it can demotivate employees. This can happen when there's a lack of trust, respect, or teamwork among colleagues, or when the company has a poor reputation.
8. Bad processes: When an organization has a way of doing things that could be improved either by tweaking or replacing…but the leadership doesn’t want to…because. So employees keep doing a thing they know is inefficient or not as effective.
What if...we listened. But not only listened. We partnered with our employees on removing barriers to improve the experience rather than adding more activities that don't get to the root of disengagement. Have a demotivation strategy that’s about removing those demotivating factors in your organization.
It’ll be one of the most motivating things we can do.