To get the best from your subordinates, you must keep a positive environment and keep them motivated to always want to work. When people feel fulfilled doing what they do, they are always motivated to keep that up. But when people feel don’t get the type of treatment they deserve, their morale is often affected and it means bad for business.
As a manager, if you notice your subordinates are often down and unmotivated to give their best, it calls for attention. Although there are many reasons your subordinates could be demotivated, four are discussed here and solutions are provided on how to tackle them.
1. Low or unfair pay
Whether your pay scale is fair or not isn’t necessarily determined by dollar signs. Your subordinates may make more than the market average, but if their job expectations aren’t proportionate to their salary, there will be friction or bitterness. And that bitterness will turn into employee demotivation fast once your employee realizes they aren’t being fairly compensated.
If you have multiple subordinates with the same job title and requirements making different salaries, you can expect that animosity or the subordinate jumping ship altogether is soon to follow.
What to do
Run a pay audit. Do this regularly. Every time you hire or promote a person internally, take a look at salaries and make sure the amounts look equivalent and fair. Keep an eye on your salary market rates.
Whether it’s physical or ideal disorganization, being in chaos makes it hard for anyone to achieve greatness. If your workspace is a mess or consistently missing important stock, it makes it hard for people to find the things they need in a timely matter. Losing precious time they could be working on actual tasks expected of them can cause frustration and anxiety in staff. They feel like their time is not being valued. Disorganization also comes in the form of ideas.
As a manager, delegating responsibilities is the majority of your day. If you’re disorganized with who or how you expect people to complete the assignments you’re expecting, someone is bound to get frustrated. One employee can’t be overloaded while another is playing solitaire on the clock. You need to balance out the responsibilities so your subordinates don’t feel like the weight of the company lies on their shoulders when other, capable people could be taking some of that weight off of them.
Additionally, if you’re constantly firing off ideas and changing your strategy or your expectations of the final product, your subordinates will start to feel like they can’t possibly do what’s expected of them because it has changed so many times they aren’t even sure what that is anymore.
What to do
Disorganization is a super complicated issue because it has an infinite number of underlying causes. If workflows back up and result in a disorganized mess between departments, you may have to rework how departments interact with each other.
The key to solving disorganization as a staff demotivation issue is spotting disorganization as the problem and working to fix it. Remember to ask the people directly affected by the problem as they may have the best insights into how to fix the problem.
3. Strict Working Rules and Policies
Some organizations, of course, need to have strict rules. If you’re working with dangerous chemicals, for example, every employee needs to follow every protocol with exactness. But, in other situations, the specific expectations and rules aren’t necessary.
If you dock an exempt subordinate’s vacation time off when she leaves 30 minutes early on Tuesday, even though she worked 45 hours this week, you demotivate your employee. When you refuse them their request to work from home just because you don’t like to have them work where you can’t see them, you demotivate them.
What to do
Consider the working under you, know their history or worth before jumping to regurgitating policy to decline their request. Some policies are important to keep things safe, legal and non-discriminatory in the workplace. Other rules can be adjusted on a case-by-case (or department) basis without any potential catastrophic recourse. Think about the potential ways to help offer more flexibility to your subordinates instead of jumping to a solid “no,” because many times your subordinate is more valuable to you than bending the rules a tad. And when your subordinate hears “no” enough times, they are bound to stop asking and start looking for a job somewhere else instead.
4. Bad Communication Skills
One of the greatest of motivating and demotivating factors is how you communicate with those under you. There really is nothing more damaging to their morale than the feeling that they are being kept out of the loop on important information and decisions. Not only that, the manner in which communication is delivered is crucial: If it feels that all communication is a top-down process, with little possibility of feedback upwards, then the individual subordinate is more likely to feel of little consequence.
What to do
A good manager will have an open, transparent method of communicating with their staff. Sometimes, it will be passing on information and decisions from above. However, they will realize that communication works both ways, and it’s never enough to tell someone something: One must also be able to listen, and listen well.
If a subordinate has an issue they need to raise, of course, they’ll expect their manager to be able to listen to that and either make a decision or act as an intermediary and pass on the issue upwards – and then feedback any response in a timely, consistent manner.
As a manager, you should always make your subordinates like their jobs. When you work towards fulfilling these expectations, you’ll have motivated subordinates. Fail to do so, and you’ll find that employee demotivation is rampant. Then you will find yourself singing the old song of people are so hard to manage.