Employers are wary of losing good employees to other opportunities. What we need to know is that many times, even before employees get to that stage of seeking greener pastures, they usually start by losing motivation. That could be more detrimental than an employee being head-hunted by other companies as demotivation will affect productivity and possibly negatively influence other staff.
As an employer, you have a responsibility for the motivation and well-being of your workforce. It is important to recognize that true engagement will mean different things to different people as well as to understand what drives an individual’s motivation. Put in real effort to listen and respond to your employees’ needs to ensure high levels of engagement throughout your company.
According to research in one Harvard Management Update column, in about 85 percent of companies, the morale of employees sharply declines after their first half a year on the job and it continues to deteriorate further in the years after. Here are some common causes that could be the root of the issue plaguing your employees.
Lack of Career Vision and Development
Money is merely a part of an employee’s motivation. Most people want clear career objectives in place to feel that there is progression for them within the organization. Plotting career targets can be a useful process in setting clear, long-term goals for an employee so that they can proactively work towards projected outcomes. Regular training and development opportunities can also help boost employee motivation and engagement. Most employees will value the opportunity to expand and improve their skills and knowledge. If a workplace feels stagnant, non-progressive and uninspiring, your employees’ motivation levels will soon dwindle. Get regular feedback from your team to see in which area where increased training or development opportunities would be most appreciated.
Absence of Recognition
No matter how an employee contributes, whether in minor or major ways, do not be stingy with compliments and recognition. It is important to celebrate successes and give credit where it’s due. Ensure that achievements are rewarded even if it is just with a pat on the back. If an employee feels that their efforts are not being recognized or appreciated, they will soon begin to lack energy and commitment in their role. Avoid causing employee distress simply by being slow to criticize and quick to thank a worker for achievements.
Limited Leadership and Equality
Effective leadership is an essential factor in motivating your staff. If strong and fair leadership is lacking, some employees may start to feel demoralized. Leaders must have a flexible, inclusive approach when it comes to managing a team and be able to communicate clearly while instilling confidence and focus. Being unbiased in all aspects such as attitude, workload, pay and benefits will go a long way in keeping all employees feeling motivated and respected.
Lack of self-efficacy
When workers believe they lack the ability to carry out a task, they will not be motivated to do it. Often, employees who lack self-efficacy are convinced that succeeding at a particular task will require investment of far more time and energy than they can afford. Explain that they have the capacity to succeed and may have misjudged the required effort. It helps if managers offer some extra support as work gets underway. Occasionally employees have the opposite motivation trap. They may lack motivation because they feel overqualified to some extent. Employees with an inflated self-efficacy may pose a slightly bigger challenge. When dealing with such employees, demonstrate to them that they could have misjudged the requirements of the task and convince them that it requires a different approach.