Employee motivation: the 7 deadly sins

by NZ Lawyer13 Apr 2015
Providing your employees with an environment in which they can comfortably thrive is the key to success – but it’s almost impossible if your office is home to these unwelcome motivation killers. It’s time to weed them out, says one industry expert.

1. Toxic people
It’s the people that make the place and leadership coach, Lolly Daskal notes that with the wrong people in place, your leadership skills will be wasted.

“Toxic people spread negativity and suffocate the positive,” Daskal says.

“Let them find a new home or, if that's not possible, make sure policies and supervision are in place to minimise their damage.”

2. Absent ladder

Millennials list professional development as one of the most important things any employer can offer when there’s no perceivable ladder, employees soon become entirely demotivated.

“Everyone needs to know that they are learning and growing,” says Daskal.

Even if you’re unable to offer employees a promotion, leaders should be focused on developing new skills and giving workers fresh opportunities.

3. Wasted time

Too many meetings, an excess of uninformative emails, time consuming and entirely pointless protocol – any and all of these lead to deeply frustrated employees.

“Show people you value them by showing them you value their time,” says Daskal.

4. Poor communication

Without simple communication throughout your office and across different teams, work will stagnate and your team will be rudderless.

“When communication is poor, people spend half their time second-guessing what they’re doing,” says Daskal.

“As soon as that happens, they start second guessing their leader and the organisation.”

5. Vertical management 

When subordinate employees feel like they have no input, it’s a sure fire way to breed widespread discontent.

“The more collaboration, the more investment and the more motivation,” says Daskal.

With a varied role, utilising the skill-sets of different individuals across teams, your staff will be motivated thanks to the variety of work on offer.

6. Lack of appreciation 

“When hard work or extraordinary results go unrecognised, people grow uninspired and apathetic,” says Daskal.

It doesn’t have to cost a cent – when your employee goes the extra mile, make sure you say thank you.

7. Bad leadership 

Bad management can only lead to a team that doesn’t function to its true potential.

"Bad leaders harm every member of their team and their entire organisation. It's up to you to do everything in your power to become part of the solution,” says Daskall. 

“Remember, great people do not stay long in bad workplaces.”


  • by Neil Fitzjames 13/04/2015 4:17:43 p.m.

    To Lack of Appreciation can be added "not passing on credit of staff contribution i.e. taking credit for success as if solely own effort