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You might have heard the old adage ‘one spoilt apple can spoil the whole basket’. In this case, we are talking about one demotivated, beleaguered salesperson. Just like the spoilt Apple, he can have a negative effect on the entire organization. Thus, it is important to identify the causes of employee demotivation and chalk out possible solutions.
Why Employee Demotivation Matters to an Organization?
Demotivation is contagious: even one demotivated employee who constantly cribs about work or other undesirable factors can quickly succeed in demotivating others too. Organizations are prone to the danger of demotivation at all times. So, it’s important to be aware of it and recognize and tackle it without delay.
To tackle demotivation effectively, an organization must know the reason behind this lackluster attitude. If a boss or colleague can help motivate such a co-worker, it could go a long way in boosting the employee’s morale and motivating him to be optimistic and have a positive attitude.
What do the Numbers Say?
As the Wall Street Journal puts it, “The negative thoughts, feelings, and performance [bad apples] trigger in others are far larger and longer lasting than the positive responses generated by more constructive colleagues.”
To put this in fiscal terms: Many of our clients work in the professional services arena, where each employee represents roughly $100-$200k in annual top-line revenue. Assuming any bad apple would be sub-grouped with 3 or 4 others, their influence could span roughly $500,000 per year. At only 60% efficiency, this could translate to over $300,000 in annual revenue lost – all a result of just one person.(Source:kinesisinc.com)
Reasons Behind the Demotivation of an Employee:
- Lack of Appreciation: An employee feels unappreciated for his efforts.
- Too Much Work: An employee feels overburdened with a disproportionate chunk of work, which renders him unable to perform his duties well and punctually.
- Lack of Clarity in Work: An employee flounders at work due to a lack of clarity on his various tasks.
- Favoritism: These refer to unfair practices that favor one worker over another.
- Mistrust: This deals with an employee resorting to micromanaging everything, displaying mistrust in a co-worker’s capabilities.
- Miscommunication: Free flow of information is withheld or information is provided only on a “need-to-know” basis. This can be demotivating as it proves that the boss or organization does not fully trust its employees to share all available information on a project.
How to Save the Employee from Demotivation?
Saving the employee from demotivation is the responsibility of his immediate manager or supervisor. Let’s have a look at what they should do.
- Listen and Get Involved: Listen to the said, and the unsaid. Body language can speak volumes about the atmosphere in an organization, read it and do the needful, if it needs correction.
- Promote Teamwork: Teamwork is the way to go, pitting one employee against the other can only be counterproductive.
- Praise and Encourage: Simple praise and words of encouragement for a task well-done are always welcome.
- Give Information Freely: Let your employees know your plans and change of plans, if any.
- Appreciate and Acknowledge: Appreciation of a task and acknowledgement of efforts put in are wonderful morale boosters.
- Show Concern and Extend Help Whenever Possible: This makes life easier and better, both for the employee and the organization.
You should believe in the motto Employee Motivation is the key to successful organization. Often it happens that employees, especially sales people, find it difficult to remain motivated for long durations. A volley of complaints and hurdles make them susceptible to demotivation. Believe me, sales is a self-weeding profession. There are instances where many potential sales people left the organization because they were demotivated and felt they were not fit to handle the pressure.
To summarize, everyone needs to be motivated or enthused in all aspects of life. Motivation is the key to a happy and productive organization. For an employee to work well, the essence of motivation lies in him putting in his entire effort into his work and, at times, even going beyond doing prescribed tasks.
Motivation plays an important role in employee productivity, quality, and speed of work. When employees lack motivation, these factors are greatly affected. So, a positive and motivated environment at the workplace is important to keep employees motivated and enthused.
Thus, listen to your employees, identify the reasons for their demotivation and rejuvenate them accordingly.
Stop the epidemic and do it for a good cause!