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5 Causes of Employee Demotivation and How To Address Them With HR Solutions

Feeling tired, bored, and demotivated at work is common. In most cases, the cure is in your hands. You just need to take a break, get enough sleep, eat healthily, treat yourself, and do something fun to get back on your feet.

But, what if you continue to dread going to work despite doing these things? Maybe the problem lies not in you – it lies in your company and its poor human resources management.

Next, to low or unfair pay, there are other common causes of employee demotivation. The good news is you may overcome them with HR solutions.

If you're an employee who feels demotivated in the workplace, or you’re the manager or HR staff of a team that lacks enthusiasm, here are 5 common causes of demotivation and how to solve them with good HR practices that work.

Problem #1: Disorganization in the workplace

Ineffective workflows, caused by disorganized leaders, are a common cause of demotivation. It can be a scatterbrained boss who doesn’t know what’s happening, or a department head who delegates responsibilities unequally.

Disorganization is a complicated issue since it roots from several underlying causes. The key to solving it is by acknowledging it as a real problem and working to fix it with HR solutions.

HR Advice: An absent-minded leader may need a good administrative assistant to keep on track. If there’s a disorganized mess between departments, consider reworking how departments interact with each other. Finally, ask the people directly affected by the problem and let them give their best insights to fix the issue.
Problem #2: There’s a micromanager in the house

Micromanagement is one of the quickest ways to demotivate employees. In the eyes of an overly controlling manager, they’re trying to oversee everything and ensure the job is done to the best of the employees’ ability. However, they’re sending the notion that the employees are incapable and not good enough, thus should be closely monitored.

HR Advice: If you’re managing a team and you feel like overdoing it, try to cut your employees some slack. Guide them, not control them. Most importantly, trust them to accomplish their tasks efficiently. Just give them access to the tools needed to succeed and let them do their job.

Problem #3: Too little work / Too much work

Boredom is one of the worst demotivators because it shows that employees don’t have that same spark as before. Employees may feel like their knowledge and skills aren’t being put to work, allowing them to feel less motivated to continue

Being overloaded with tasks, on the flip side, is bad too. It makes people feel frantic, sucking the motivation right out of them because they’re always in survival mode. As a result, they’re incapable of giving their best work.

HR Advice: Keep track of the assignments you’ve given them. This will help you keep track of who’s expected to do what and when.

You may also catch up on them and ask them about their workload. If you feel like someone’s workload outweighs someone else, even out the playing field by delegating some of the tasks to others.

Problem #4: Hostile work environment

No matter how much an employee loves his job and office space, he’ll still dread coming to work if he feels like their work environment itself is toxic.

A hostile environment could comprise of a colleague/group of colleagues who are bullies and harassers, or a vile or unmotivating boss, making offensive comments. Whatever or whoever it is, one thing’s for sure: They’re bringing a person, and all their creativity, motivation, and productivity, down.

HR Advice: Create and enforce a zero-tolerance bullying policy, calling out the bullies, the toxic managers, and other folks dragging people down. Make it clear that these mean, offensive, and/or demeaning behaviors or conversations are unacceptable. No one should be generally making life miserable for others.

Problem #5: Severe work rules and policies

We can all agree that rules are essential, especially in instances of health, safety, and legality. However, there are instances when strict expectations and rules aren’t necessary. In terms of general office policies, having stringent, inflexible expectations can be discouraging to employees.

If you refuse an employee’s request to work from home due to a storm just because you don’t like it when you can’t see them, you demotivate your employees. If you prohibit your employees to watch YouTube videos to motivate themselves, even during lunch, you’re demotivating your employees

HR Advice: Keeping the policy while being flexible to varying situations is the key. Employees know that other companies have flexible schedules. If you want to retain your best employees, you need to offer them flexibility. Encourage the managers to provide it too.

At the end of the day, you should be looking the employees’ efforts to get the job done, not closely at their clock in records.

This article is written by a creative writer for HR Dept Australia, a provider of affordable and pragmatic HR services and employment law advice in Australia. Writing about helpful career management solutions for both employees and employers is her cup of tea.