The one thing about virtually every new employee is that they have tons of motivation and are excited to work for you.
When I worked at a bank last year, I could not have been more thrilled to positively contribute to the company. Just four short months later, however, I left my job and was in complete disarray; I had never felt so demotivated towards completing tasks than I did when I was working for my team.
This experience brought me to learn about why people choose to work at some companies rather than others. Even better, why some people can continue to perform the same tasks for the same company for decades and not hate themselves.
What I learned is that, contrary to most peoples’ opinions, an employees’ lack of motivation has little to do with them; it actually has much more to do with their leader.
The job of any leader is quite simple – lead your employees. Motivate them and inspire them to create good work and achieve amazing results.
But before we dive into how you as a leader can inspire your employees to stay consistently motivated, work for you for decades, and build your company into a multi-billion-dollar empire, let’s first understand why someone is motivated (or demotivated) in the first place.
The Sources Of Employee Motivation
Harvard Business Review argues that the three key goals of people at work are to have equity; to be respected and treated fairly, achievement; to be proud of one’s job and employer, and camaraderie; and to have strong relationships with those in one’s workforce.
To maintain an employee’s enthusiasm towards their job, a leader must understand these three key goals and actively ensure that they are being satisfied. If there is a disruption in one or more of these factors, your employees will start losing motivation. Even worse, they may forget the purpose of their tasks.
In other words, if you as the leader don’t perpetuate feelings of equity, achievement, and camaraderie in your workplace, your employees will turn on you.
How Can Leaders Avoid Employee Demotivation?
Well, the answer is a lot simpler than you’d expect.
Just like every cheesy quote on the internet – it starts with you.
You must clearly define the purpose of every single task that any one of your employees undertakes. You must make it so simple to understand that they can repeat it to you within one sentence.
What a lot of us don’t realize is that having a guiding purpose is everything, and no matter what your employees’ task is – from getting coffee to writing a script – if they don’t understand how this specific task can help your company be successful, they will not be motivated.
Similarly, in not thoroughly explaining the purpose of your employees’ work, you are disrespecting them and their time. Furthermore, you’re contributing towards a disconnected workforce.
Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Sometimes we use fancy words and forget that everything in life is actually quite simple. So let me break it down for you one more time!
The job (your job) of sitting down with your employee and explaining how doing this exact task will contribute to the success of your company – the job of explaining both the actions and consequences of the task – will allow your employee to feel respected, to be proud of their work, and to not stir any of your workforce’s pots.
It’s easy to forget that the most valuable actions are the ones that are the simplest to achieve.
If you can remember to instill the sentiments of equity, achievement, and camaraderie within each individual component of your workplace, you will never have a demotivated employee again.
In fact, you’ll probably never come across one of these articles again. So I bid you adieu! I hope that you remember that purpose drives all successes, and ego drives all failures.
But you won’t let those sway, because you’re a great leader.