6 Management Mistakes that Kill Employee Motivation

Recognition & Motivation Ideas


Most managers truly want to inspire their employees to come up with creative ideas, be more productive and do better work.

However, without even realizing it, it can be easy to slip into motivation-killing habits that affect the level at which an employee contributes, as well as play a part in staff turnover.

If you’re a manager, take a look at the list below to see if you’re making any of these mistakes and learn how to correct them.


One of the main reasons for low employee morale is the feeling that their input and concerns aren’t being heard. Far too often, managers make assumptions about the point the employee is trying to make and, in an effort to move the conversation along, jump in before allowing them to finish.

Letting employees finish their thoughts and complete their ideas is a simple and effective way to make them feel valued and heard.

Poking holes

Poking Holes When an employee comes to you with an idea to improve business or their own job, how do you respond? Do you immediately start listing the reasons it won’t work? Or worse, reply with the dreaded, “We’ve always done it this way”?

If this seems familiar, try to consciously keep an open mind. Ask the employee to present both the problem and the solution, as they see it. Even if you ultimately decide not to implement their idea after weighing all the pros and cons, they will be more likely to come to you with ideas in the future.


There’s nothing worse than having a boss constantly looking over your shoulder, asking for constant updates and, even worse, telling you how to do your jobs. All these actions quickly zap the motivation of even the most dedicated worker.

On the other hand, showing employees that you trust them to do the tasks they were hired for is a huge morale booster. You can still keep on top of things by ask for updates at regular intervals and making it clear that they can come to you with problems in the interim.

Goals Lack of clear goals

In order for your staff to achieve the company’s or department’s goals, they first have to know what they are. When goals are not clearly defined or continually change, it can lead to confusion, frustration and low morale.

Make sure your employees understand what your goals are and, more importantly, why the goals have been set in the first place. Then make sure they each have the proper tools and resources to reach them.

Time wasters

Time Wasters At some point or another, most of us have been trapped in a long meeting that had little to no bearing or effect on our own job or responsibilities.

These types of meetings can be frustrating and demoralizing since they eat into valuable time that could be spent more productively.

Therefore, before calling an all-staff meeting, ensure that it really is necessary that everyone attends and try to keep the agenda short and efficient.

Lack of rewards/acknowledgement

When employees feel their work is taken for granted or not valued, they may start to do and care less. That’s why it’s so important to have a system in place for thank your employees for their work.

It can be as simple as verbal thank you or a short, handwritten note. Or you may choose to recognize those who go above and beyond with formal awards. Whatever you do, make sure the gesture is sincere.