Top workplace demotivators revealed


A demotivated staff is not what your business needs. You’re wasting time and money if your staff members come to work feeling like they don’t want to be there.

Your employees are one of your greatest assets, so it’s vital to invest in them and help them to be as productive as possible. While everyone is different and motivated by different things, there are definitely some things that are almost universal demotivators. If you can avoid the things that are most likely to discourage your employees and get them down, you can keep them motivated and productive.

According to a survey by Reward Gateway, 41% of people who classed themselves as lacking motivation said that they were motivated by wages. Other top motivators for these people included good working relationships and having a sense of purpose. However, things shifted for people who classed themselves as extremely motivated, when job satisfaction and feeling respected became more important. Overall, 73% of employees said that employers could be better motivators in the workplace.

Of the more than 2,000 employees who responded to the survey, 60% said that being demotivated at work worsened their mood and 46% said it affected their mental health. Meanwhile, 48% said it made them less productive and 40% said that it reduced the quality of their work.

The 2018 survey by Reward Gateway revealed that workers feel most demotivated by lack of recognition (40%), feeling invisible or undervalued (43%) and having a bad manager (43%). The survey looked at over 6,000 respondents in total from the UK, the US and Australia. Even when people are feeling demotivated however, they will stay in the job for nine months to a year. While not losing employees might seem like a good thing, hanging onto them when they’re feeling demotivated isn’t so positive. Productivity and work quality will suffer if your employees don’t feel motivated.

If you want your employees to be motivated, you need to start with their basic needs. They want to be paid well, feel like their work means something, and get along well with the people they work with. Of course, understanding the major ways that people can feel demotivated at work is a start, but it’s also important to understand how these demotivating factors can be avoided. For example, if your employees want to feel like they have a sense of purpose, showing them how their work contributes to a project or to the company as a whole can help. Offering praise for a job well done can make a significant different to how appreciated your employees feel.

Avoiding the wrong behaviours is also a good idea. Employees rarely appreciate being called out on a mistake in front of others, having to meet impossible deadlines or feeling like they don’t get recognition for their work. Open communication with your employees can help you to understand what does and doesn’t motivate them.

Demotivated employees are not helpful for your business. You need to keep morale high if you want them to be productive and work well.