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5 Quick Ways to Demotivate Your Employees

Reading Time: 3 minutes

What your team won’t tell you.

Your success as a leader is not just what you achieve, it is also how you motivate your employees and what you inspire your team to achieve. Orrin Woodward brought it to the point: “Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” Positive inspiration and a stimulating professional environment make a huge difference to people’s lives. Better health, happiness, efficiency and fulfilment are only a few of the side effects. It is said that people usually leave a boss before they leave an organisation.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

Do you currently motivate others easily? Are you optimistic? Do you believe in what your organisation does and stands for? There are a number of methods that will motivate and inspire the people around you, and you might already successfully apply some of them.

But what is the team not telling you? Following are 5 common mistakes you could be making without even noticing:

1 Treating everybody the same

If you treat everybody the same, you disrespect the uniqueness and performance of individuals. If you want inspired and motivated team members, you must treat people differently to treat them equally (not the same!). Make sure you consider people’s performance and contribution, because you do not want a team culture of ‘regardless of how I perform, everybody gets the same treatment’. Initiative, reliability and positive action needs to be recognised and appreciated.


2 Ignoring great accomplishments

It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of tasks and the urgencies that creep in every single day. However, if you as a leader miss the opportunities to give your employees a pat on the back, you very swiftly demotivate your staff to keep up to good work. Everybody loves praise and being recognised and appreciated for their performance. Raving about jobs well done will provide the team with motivation to keep going even stronger.

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3 Creating stupid rules

If you try to impose order through the implementation of restricting and unnecessary policies and procedure, you are running a big chance to not only demotivate your innovative staff, but furthermore losing them to another company where they can be creative and excel. Be your team’s advocate and remove obstacles, be persistent and show that obstacles don’t define you, them or the company.


4 Making it look difficult

Great business leaders know how to paint a vivid picture of the future, and walk the talk for their employees to follow them. A clear vision and mission make it easy to stay motivated because employees can follow a distinct path to where the company is heading. In order for the vision to stick, you must insist that all managers model behaviours that are consistent with the vision. It is through such action that all employees will believe in and live a meaningful manifestation of the vision, and incorporate inspired actions in every task they perform.


5 Lacking integrity

Integrity is one of the top qualities of a great leader. It implies a commitment to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances.  Leaders with integrity motivate their employees by conducting themselves with the same high ethical standards no matter where they are, or who they are with, and are incapable of breaking other people’s trust.

“Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.” ~ C.S. Lewis


It is difficult to cultivate a motivated, inspired team environment if you yourself lack the drive to go further and higher every single day. It is vital that you stay motivated yourself. Look for people, knowledge, ideas and environments that you find inspiring and motivating. Draw from inspirational words of wisdom or quotes. Surround yourself with likeminded people, so that you can inspire and motivate one another. Research people you admire to learn from their actions and behaviours.

Draw inspiration through life-long learning, and be open to new experiences, courses, books, professional development, personal coaching and mentoring, or other means of learning!

“Dare to make a difference!”

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