Employee motivation: the 7 deadly sins

One leadership expert shares her thoughts on the most venomous motivation killers with HRD Singapore.

Employee motivation: the 7 deadly sins
Providing your employees with an environment in which they can comfortably thrive is the key to success – but it’s almost impossible if your office is home to these unwelcome motivation killers. It’s time to weed them out, says one industry expert.

1. Toxic people

“Toxic people spread negativity and suffocate the positive,” says leadership coach Lolly Daskal. “Let them find a new home or, if that's not possible, make sure policies and supervision are in place to minimise their damage.

2. Absent ladder

Millennials list professional development as one of the most important things any employer can offer when there’s no perceivable ladder, employees soon become entirely demotivated.

“Everyone needs to know that they are learning and growing,” says Daskal.

Even if you’re unable to offer employees a promotion, HR should be focused on developing new skills and giving workers fresh opportunities.

3. Wasted time

Too many meetings, an excess of uninformative emails, time consuming and entirely pointless protocol – any and all of these lead to deeply frustrated employees.

“Show people you value them by showing them you value their time,” says Daskal.

4. Poor communication

“When communication is poor, people spend half their time second-guessing what they’re doing,” says Daskal. As soon as that happens, they start second guessing their leader and the organisation.

5. Vertical management 

When subordinate employees feel like they have no input, it’s a sure fire way to breed widespread discontent, says Daskal – “The more collaboration, the more investment and the more motivation.”

6. Lack of appreciation 

When hard work or extraordinary results go unrecognized, people grow uninspired and apathetic,” says Daskal. It doesn’t have to cost a dime – when your employee goes the extra mile, make sure you say thank you.

7. Bad leadership 

“Bad leaders harm every member of their team and their entire organisation,” warns Daskall. HR professionals can only build a truly employee base by starting with an exceptional leadership team.

Do you recognise any of these motivation killers, remember – they’re poisoning your workplace.

“It's up to you to do everything in your power to become part of the solution,” says Daskall. “Remember, great people do not stay long in bad workplaces.”

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