7 Mistakes Managers Make That Demotivate Their Employees


According to research done at the University of California, motivated employees are about 30% more productive than other employees. They are also about 90% less likely to leave for another company. Another study, by Gallup, has found that managers are responsible for 70% of the motivation that employees experience. As some management experts say, employees don’t quit their jobs; rather, they quit their managers. Here is what managers do wrong motivating their employees.

Making Meaningless Rules

Organizations need rules. However, rules need to be designed with respect for the individual, and not be a quick attempt at creating order. From overzealous rule-making regarding attendance to cutting down on employee perks, there are many rules with which the managers annoy their underlings. When employees feel the need to look over their shoulder, they begin to look for another place to work.

employeesLetting Good Work Go Unrecognized

Rewarding achievements is about more than making someone feel good. It’s also about demonstrating that you pay attention to who works well and who doesn’t. Recognition, in one form or another, can help create a better environment for success. When you make recognition hard to come by, you send away your best workers.

Hiring Mediocre Employees

To many people, the opportunity to work with intelligent and competent coworkers is an important part of the satisfaction that comes with their job. This means that when managers hire carelessly, they take away a good part of the reason why existing employees come into work. Careful, well-planned hiring is an important part of a manager’s job.

Treating Everyone the Same

Children need to be treated the same as everyone else. It works for children because they aren’t graded on performance. The adult workplace is different. There, workers are ranked based on how well they perform. Bringing the equality rule from the world of children to the grown-up world can create friction. Adults who work hard and are talented need to be graded on the quality of their work. Grading everyone the same only results in loss of motivation. Managers need to be willing to reward quality.

Being Lax with Poor Performers

People don’t always perform at their best and do need a little slack every now and then. Laxity all the time, however, can make it seem as if poor performance is acceptable. Top performers anywhere can begin to feel unappreciated when others at work are able to slow down without consequence. It’s important to reward those who perform and use discipline on those who do not.

Being Trustworthy

Whether it is a promotion or a chance to make a speech before the CEO, promises made to employees need to be kept. When promises are kept, you begin to appear trustworthy. When promises are not kept, they make you look unworthy of trust. Since trust is an important part of the job that managers do, it’s important they never do anything that erodes this quality.

Managers often walk a thin line; they need to be the voice of the management and also of the workers. The difficulty of this position, however, disappears when you realize that all it takes to do well is to be honorable and honest.