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Motivation for managers: 5 reasons employees lack motivation

Posted in Articles
motivation skills

Having an unmotivated employee can be bad for productivity, overall morale and communication. An important part of a manager’s job is to keep employees inspired and motivated. But before a manager can motivate an employee to their best level of performance, they must understand what the barriers are that are keeping them from performing at that level already. Here are 5 common reasons employees lack motivation.

They lack the required capabilities

Sometimes employees are missing the skills, information or tools to perform their job to the level they should. This might be because they were not trained properly during onboarding or it may be because they haven’t asked for help or haven’t received it. In either case, improved motivation will not be possible unless this employee to acquire the needed capabilities. Managers may need to point employees in the direction of training opportunities, assistance from another employee, or dedicated time with a manager in order to help get them
to the right place. It is important to note that, whatever the reason an employee is underprepared for their role, if it is not rectified, frustration will grow – and motivation will continue to suffer.

The job isn’t challenging enough

Quite the opposite to the underprepared employee, sometimes workers are simply bored because their job is not or is no longer challenging and therefore interesting them. Perhaps their capabilities have not been put to good use or perhaps they have been in the same role at the same level for too long without developing. Providing employees with access to upskilling materials can provide relief from boredom and a new sense of motivation and direction as the employee grows in their role.

Get yourself and your team motivated with the best tips from our weekly newsletter #MotivationMonday. 

They feel they aren’t appreciated

Most of us require some sort of affirmation from our work. Employees who don’t feel that they are properly appreciated – whether through low wages, promotions, or words of acknowledgment – are likely to have performance issues through lack of motivation. One way to ensure employees know they are valued is by their management providing each and every employee with both a clear purpose and direction as well as opportunities to learn and develop their role. If an employee is unmotivated because they feel they have been overlooked for a promotion, speaking to them about their development within the company and encouraging them to set goals and follow a personal development plan will show the employee they are valued in the long-term by their company.

They don’t get along with their colleagues

Many employees and managers spend more time with work colleagues than they do with their family or friends. If there is a negative company culture or an employee does not get along with our colleagues, that’s a lot of time spent in unpleasant situations which can be a definite demotivator. Encouraging a positive company culture through social events, team building and support is a fantastic way to bring a new sense of motivation into a previously uninspired employee’s daily work life.

They have personal problems

Life goes on, even during the work week. Many of us have had times when our personal lives have encroached on our professional lives. Perhaps we needed to take or make more personal calls than usual or take time off at inconvenient times. Or maybe our motivation has
suffered because we are nervous, distracted, or upset. The issues we are dealing with just overwhelm any motivation we would normally have at work. The good news is that this type of performance issues is often temporary. Usually, once the problem is resolved, the motivation issue is resolved as well. If an employee has recently experienced a change in motivation, management should consider reaching out personally to offer any resources available that can assist the employee through a difficult time period such as temporary leave, financial assistance, flexible working hours or working from home. This gesture will not only provide the employee the opportunity to explain why their motivation may be impacted but also give the employee the feeling that they are valued and appreciated as more than just a staff member.

Get yourself and your team motivated with the best tips from our weekly newsletter #MotivationMonday. 

Motivation Skills

These are only a few reasons employees may be lacking motivation for more and for easy ways to motivate yourself and your team, check out our eBook "Motivation Skills".

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