Key Indicators Of Demotivated Employees – And How to Inspire Them 

Poor employee motivation is a big concern for every business owner because no organization will succeed without a well-motivated workforce. 

Before the outbreak of the global pandemic, a report by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a steady decline in employee productivity. 

It is a disaster for any business or organization to have demotivated employees. Motivated employees are highly productive and efficient at work.  Unfortunately, many managers do not know the signs that show a lack of motivation among their employees. Below are some key performance indicators to help business owners identify demotivated employees.

low productivity

Many internal and external factors can lead to low employee productivity, including stress, scarce resources, poor management, low wage, and demotivation. 

Where factors that cause the low productivity relate to external situations outside the workplace, demotivation may be the cause. A recent research published in the American Journal of Management Science and Engineering identified motivation as an outstanding way to promote productivity among employees. So if you notice a consistent drop in the efficiency and productivity of your employees over a period, try to motivate them for a change. 

absenteeism and lateness

Absenteeism and lateness from work are enormous problems for many organisations. In the United States alone, absenteeism costs employers about $225.8 billion every year. Almost every worker has been absent or late to work because of circumstances beyond their control, like a family emergency, illness, injury and bad weather. Lateness and absence become a problem when they are frequent. If you notice an increase in an employee’s absence and lateness from work, then you have every reason to be concerned.  

Motivated absenteeism is another factor that can cause an increase in absence and lateness from work. In motivated absenteeism, employees voluntarily go to work depending on their level of motivation. While a highly motivated worker is eager to go to work, a demotivated employee will look for a reason to skip work or come late.

low employee retention

Employee retention refers to an organisation’s capacity and capabilities to retain its workers over a certain period. However, reports show that it is becoming more difficult for employers to hold on to their talented workers. In November 2021, a record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in the United States alone.

While it is impossible to retain all your employees for a long period, some organisations have a higher employee retention rate than others. Keeping your workers motivated is one way to maintain high employee retention rates. Workers are always searching for better opportunities and will not hesitate to ditch a job that no longer motivates them for one with huge potential. As a business owner, if a high number of workers leave your firm within a couple of months or years, you need to find out what you are doing wrong.  

work apathy

Apathy at work is another sign of a lack of motivation. Apathy can cause employees to act like work does not matter or feel that management does not appreciate them. Apathetic employees are always in a bad mood, even when other workers seem to enjoy themselves at work.  

Withdrawn workers can affect your business productivity by refusing to take part in collaborative activities in the workplace. An apathetic worker can be a source of toxicity in the workplace. The earlier you resolve the cause of apathy amongst your workers, the better for your business.

constant conflict

Conflicts are part of every human society. Many factors contribute to workplace conflict, including personality-based conflict and work-related conflict. Whatever the cause, workplace conflict can negatively affect your business. It is vital to identify and nip every conflict in the bud before it ruins your business. When conflict persists in a workplace, it can become toxic and poison the whole working environment. No worker enjoys going to work in a toxic environment.

lack of initiative

The most sought-after employees can work with little or no supervision. Every employer loves it when employees take action and find solutions on their own. Sometimes, when employees fail or stop to exhibit initiative in their jobs, it may be because of a lack of motivation at work. Employees who work in organisations where the roles and responsibilities are undefined often suffer from demotivation.

how to inspire your employees

Since employee motivation is essential to the success of any business, all managers must know how to inspire their workforce when they are demotivated. Below are ways to motivate your employees.

recognise & reward excellent work

When managers recognise and reward the excellent work of their employees, it boosts their engagement and motivates them to achieve higher productivity.  

Many businesses motivate their workers by running employee recognition and reward programs that acknowledge the efforts of their workforce. Assume you own a company that provides application testing services. You can give your employees the opportunity to be the next project leader or even give them a raise. A 2018 research published in the International Journal of Creative Research Thought (IJCRT) discovered a direct and positive relationship between rewards and recognition, and job satisfaction/ motivation.

establish effective & clear communication channels

Effective and open internal communication in the workplace boosts the morale and satisfaction of workers. The ability to ask and receive help from management will prevent employees from getting frustrated at work. To motivate your employees, always keep the communication channels at work open. A recent study shows that internal communication improves employee motivation.

create clear goals

Clear goals inspire and motivate employees to keep working high. Without clear goals, your employees will lack the zeal to give their best. Employees are less distracted in their jobs when they have their eyes on the set goal. It is excellent motivation each time an employee reaches a set goal. 

build a strong foundation of trust

Building trust in the workplace involves creating a system of respect and fairness for everyone in an organisation. A system of trust includes recognition, respect, management support, rewards, transparency, and communication.  

A recent survey of health workers found workplace trust relationships have an impact on the intrinsic motivation of the workers and their performance. Smart business owners recognise that extrinsic factors alone do not create motivation. The best way is to build an environment of trust that will motivate people to give their best.

provide opportunities for career development

Many organisations ignore or refuse to support the career development of their employees. But businesses that support the professional development of their workers attract some of the best talents in the market. 

Many experts in Human Resource Management believe that supporting the career development of employees increases their motivation and productivity. You can, for instance, support your employees in their professional development by enrolling them on top online course platforms. Other ways include workshops, coaching and mentoring, staff training, safety training, skills development, and refresher courses. Employees want to grow in their careers. So if you do not provide the opportunity for that growth, it will demotivate your employees to work for you.

Final thoughts

A demotivated workforce can ruin your business. That is why every business owner should be proactive and identify the key indicators that demotivate employees. And this article examines some ways to recognise the demotivation of an employee and what business leaders can do to inspire them.  

Author: Andreyana Kulina – Digital Marketing Specialist, Brosix

Photo credit: Pexels

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