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Workplace Problems: Why are your employees lacking motivation?

There are several factors that could be causing low motivation in your workplace and these factors can have detrimental effects on both the employees and the business. Here we explore possible reasons for low motivation amongst your employees and what you can do to solve it.

If you’re unsure whether your employees are lacking motivation, there are several key signs to look out for.

1. Their productivity has decreased
2. The quality of their work is suffering
3. They are becoming increasingly absent from work
4. Employee turnover is increasing throughout the company
5. Change in demeanour or attitude
6. Demotivation spreading throughout the business

Recruiters Michael Page UK outline several reasons why employees often lack motivation at work:

1. Lack of flexibility
2. Lack of career progression, or the prospect of it in the future
3. Feeling under-valued
4. Lack of training or development opportunities
5. Poor leadership or lack of confidence in management decisions
6. Conflict in the workplace
7. An unrealistic workload
8. Boredom
9. Micro-management
10. Lack of communication and transparency

What can be done?

Great Place to Work conduct annual employee surveys and workplace cultural studies with over 6,600 organisations worldwide with over 12 million employees. Their research focuses on measuring the following factors which contribute to an individual’s wellbeing at work:

1. Values and ethics
2. Teamwork
3. Work and environment processes
4. Recognition
5. Job satisfaction

There are several ways you can create a work environment that fosters high employee motivation.

• Provide opportunities for your employees to develop their skills – such as training opportunities, attending seminars and workshops, mentoring schemes, giving them responsibilities other than their routine and developing a personal development plan for themselves where they identify areas they would like to improve upon.

• Give them more autonomy and independence in their role by taking a step back and allowing them to take responsibility for their own workload, make decisions on how they get things done and giving them higher levels of responsibility.

• Allow your employees to see the impact their decisions and actions have on company goals by including them in meetings, email chains and higher-level discussions. Seeing the bigger picture helps them feel more involved in the company’s success.

• Recognise high performance as well as when the employee makes a mistake. Most people thrive on praise, and if your employee is feeling under-appreciated this could be a huge motivational factor. Praise can be verbal, via email or thank you notes, a treat for the whole office or a monetary reward. This could go a long way in motivating them towards future successes.

• Take an interest in employee wellbeing. Healthy workers are happy workers – and this doesn’t just mean through diet and exercise. You need to take care of the mental wellbeing of your employees too. A recent government study found that there is significant evidence that workplace wellbeing and job performance are directly correlated. Benefits include:
1. Greater levels of energy, leading to higher output and fewer sick days
2. Increased creativity and problem-solving
3. Increased motivation and attitude to work

Things like attitude and support concerning maternity leave, work social events, financial support and pension schemes, holidays, rewarding good work and positive relationships with management all contribute to good employee wellbeing.