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Your Employees are Demotivated and You Could Be Responsible — Here are 6 Ways to Keep Your Team Energized and Engaged The most critical factor in job retention is an employee's relationship with their manager. Don't demotivate your employees; instead, empower them. Here's how.

By Roxanne Klein

Key Takeaways

  • Nothing demotivates employees more than negative energy.
  • Employers should be cautious of how they communicate with their employees.
  • Create a positive work environment and learn to separate personal issues from work.
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Many articles have been written on motivation. Although important, I also think it is important for business owners to be aware of demotivation. Business owners can demotivate their employees unintentionally.

This article aims to make business owners aware of demotivation and hopefully prevent demotivating their employees by accident. Here are six ways to avoid demotivation in your workplace.

1. Provide a positive work environment

Personally, nothing demotivates me more than negative energy. If someone is not positive, it makes me feel negative, and once I feel negative, it is difficult to get out of a negative slump. Employers need to be aware that their employees will become negative if they have a negative attitude. Then, a negative cycle can ensue, and work productivity might be down.

If you are not careful, the next thing you know is all your employees will have a negative attitude. It's important to foster a positive work environment before a negative one starts to spread throughout your company.

Related: 5 Ways to Stop Demotivating Your People

2. Give constructive feedback

Feedback given in a non-constructive way can also demotivate your employees. I am a fan of the sandwich approach. This simple approach sandwiches feedback in which you would start with something good the employee is doing. Then, mention to the employee an item they need to work on.

When mentioning the items the employee needs to work on, it is essential to have a constructive, non-critical tone. After the constructive feedback, mention another positive item you value about the employee. Although this approach may seem a little elementary, by carefully providing constructive feedback, there is a good chance you will avoid accidentally demotivating your employee.

3. Communicate clearly and regularly

Several negative consequences can occur if an employer is unclear when assigning tasks. First, there is a good chance that the employee will not perform the task correctly. When this happens, the employer will inevitably be upset with the employee and show their disappointment, resulting in the employee being upset and feeling demotivated. All of this could be resolved by the employer correctly communicating the task to their employee.

Employers need to remember that their employees are not mind readers. They must be as clear as possible and ensure that their instructions can not be misinterpreted. By taking a little extra time to provide the employee with efficient instructions, the employer can avoid many feelings of demotivation.

Related: 7 Ways Managers Motivate and Demotivate Employees

4. Address issues promptly

Be respectful of your employees by addressing issues promptly. If an employee comes to you with a question or an issue that needs to be addressed for the employee to do their job or for the employee to feel valued, be respectful of the employee and address the issue functionality. Demotivation can easily occur if the employee has to follow up with the employer to get answers or directions.

At this point, the employee would feel that the employer does not respect their time and would be demotivated by the employer not valuing their time. This situation can easily be avoided by the employer addressing and acknowledging the employee better.

5. Practice respectful communication

Employers should be cautious of how they communicate with their employees. This is both in person and through written communication, such as emails. The employer needs not to be critical and unfriendly. Even if the employer is having a bad personal day, they need to be able to separate their own problems and not take out their frustrations on their employees.

The employer should always be mindful of their language and tone. The employer needs to remember that if they are not respectful to their employees, they will become demotivated, and their work quality will decrease.

Related: Why Effective Communication is the Key to Success for Startups

6. Be cognizant of your employee's values

An employer needs to understand what is essential to an employee. If an employer is not careful and does not recognize their employee's values, then the employee can easily feel that the employer is not the type of employer they would like to be working for. Employers must show legitimate empathy and make the employees feel like they are appreciated. The employer needs to remember that all their employees are different and take the time to understand what is essential to each of them. By doing so, it is less likely that employees will become demotivated.

Employers must be mindful of what can potentially demotivate their employees. If they are not, productivity will be decreased, morale will be down, and ultimately, employees will resign and find other employment means. Remember to avoid actions that can demotivate your employees actively.

Create a positive work environment and learn to separate personal issues from work. Respond to employees promptly and do so with respect. Acknowledge receipt of emails and be careful to be sarcastic to employees who might find sarcasm offensive. By being cautious of these items, the results will motivate your employees. Your business will thrive, and your employees will be grateful for working with you.

Roxanne Klein

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Retail Commercial Real Estate Broker

Roxy Klein is focused on the leasing and sale of retail commercial properties in Southern California's Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley regions. Her expertise includes leasing, sales, & landlord / tenant representation. Roxy's performance on Crexi puts her in the top 1% of all users.

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