How To Manage A Demotivated Team Member Part 1

It is a well-known fact that an engaged employee is a happy employee. Similarly, a happy employee is a motivated and productive employee. 

It is somewhat of a shock then to discover that research in the UK and US reveals that employee engagement is just 25% and 30% respectively.  

Even worse the Gallup study groups latest data suggests that only 13% of the global workforce is engaged.

Now I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a remarkable number of people who are disengaged which means a high risk that many are demotivated too. 

In this two part article, I want to explore 5 reasons why employees become demotivated, what the signs are that you need to look out for and importantly what can you do about it. 

Let’s start part 1 by exploring the causes.



What Can Cause An Employee To Be Demotivated?

Personal Circumstances

An employee’s demotivation is often related to their work, but not always. While you may notice some of the behaviours described later in this article are impacting performance and an employee’s motivation, the root cause may be a personal situation.

We all have lives outside work; we have loved ones, that special person in our lives, children and friends who are like family. There are many events that can happen in our personal lives and remember not everyone will share their problems openly at work. However, when a problem persists, it will impact a person’s behaviour.


No Vision Or They Don’t Connect To Vision

Today more than ever, employees want to have meaning in their work. They want to feel that they are contributing. To have this, they need to have a sense of direction which comes from a company vision. They want to understand how what they do each day will contribute towards the company vision being realised. A lack of vision results in a lack of direction and people struggling to find meaning in what they are doing.



Lack Of Trust

Stephen M R Covey concluded in his book The Speed Of Trust that when the trust was lacking in an organisation, the speed of productivity decreased and costs increased. This also applies to an individual. Trust can fall and be broken when a manager fails to keep commitments and promises.

A typical example is when employees have been ‘promised’ that they are next in line for promotion only to be overlooked, again.

Not delegating and holding on to tasks because you believe only you can do a task correctly communicates a lack of trust and will result in demotivating your team.


Don’t Feel Valued

Employees want to know that their efforts are valued and recognised. When they consistently perform and yet experience no appreciation or recognition they begin to wonder, ‘what’s the point’, nobody notices anyway.


No Development Opportunities



As we have mentioned earlier, in today’s world employees want to contribute. To enable them to expand their contribution, they want to develop, learn and grow.

While having access to training and development courses is valued, on the job experience and learning is invaluable. Too often employees do not have the opportunity to develop skills and expertise outside their core role.  This can cause a team member to feel unfulfilled as they know they have more value to bring to the organisation and yet it isn’t being recognised and utilised.

It’s one thing knowing some of the key underlying causes of a demotivated employee; it’s another thing spotting the early signs of it. The sooner you can identify it, the earlier you can step in to manage it.

In part 2 of this article, I share what the signs are that you need to look out for and importantly what can you do about it. 


What Next?

Ask yourself, how well do I really know each team member?

If you have someone who is seriously demotivated, make it important to have one on one time with them to share your concerns and identify the cause.

Also, it’s helpful to reflect on what is it that you can start doing differently to minimise this happening to other members of your team?

Until next time,