As an employer, you have a certain amount of responsibility for the motivation and wellbeing of your workforce. For a team to function to the best of its ability, all members must be fully engaged and fully committed. It’s important to recognise that true engagement will mean different things to different people and to understand what really drives an individual’s motivation.
It’s crucial to really listen and respond to your employees’ needs to ensure high levels of engagement throughout your company. Spotting the warning signs of demotivation early and addressing them quickly can help encourage employee contentment and talent retention.
If you fear that one of your employees may be lacking in motivation, here are a few common causes that could be at the root of the issue.
1. Lack of career vision
In the majority of 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’s 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.
2. Job insecurity
Following on from the above point, a lack of career vision can give rise to feelings of insecurity. All employees want to feel a sense of security and longevity in their roles and an employer must help facilitate this with regular coaching and objective setting.
3. 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 – even if it’s just with a pat on the back.
4. 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 stagnant, non-progressive and uninspired – your employees’ motivation levels will soon dwindle. Get regular feedback from your team to see where increased training or development opportunities would be best placed and appreciated.
5. 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.
Conflict in the workplace is hugely detrimental. Healthy debate is often productive, but it’s important to keep an eye out for any workplace intimidation or bullying. Some employees may feel worried to come forward about issues relating to a fellow colleague - which is where an anonymous employee survey may help to reveal any problem areas.
7. 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, impossible workload – they can soon become disillusioned, stressed and lose motivation. Equally, if an employee has a workload that’s too light or not varied enough, they might quickly lose interest.