team leader trying to motivate three team mates

7 things that lower your teams’ motivation and engagement

Published on 1 Dec 2021 by Stuart Harris

Engagement and motivation are critical to building a highly geared-up team. While engagement refers to an “active agreement” to work for others, motivation refers to the desire to work. When employees are fully engaged, they always want to find solutions to boost their productivity. Employees are likely to lack motivation and engagement when you are not concerned about the things they care about, for example, common culture, relationships, work motives, clarity and trust.

If you’re having motivation problems at your workplace, take a look at what you are not doing right and make it a daily task to spend time on valuing and enhancing your employees’ motivation and engagement. Here’s what you shouldn’t do:

  1. No Clear Expectations
  2. What goals are your employees working towards? Are organised instructions given? Without clear clarity, employees may draw on past experience as well as their own assumptions and biases to work towards organisational goals. That may lead to engaging in tedious and superfluous side conversations and in the end to low-value output.

  3. No Encouragement to Creativity
  4. A repetitive routine is somehow boring, especially a rigidly structured one. But how to be productive and get the job done without assigning every little task to employees? Spare some space for their creativity, it can help to generate more ideas and opinions. It does not mean they can do whatever they want but sometimes it is needed to bounce thoughts off each other without judging in order to see things from new angles and perspectives.

  5. No Appreciation on Improvements and Accomplishments
  6. Be sure your team knows their contributions and efforts are appreciated! Let employees know they are on the right track and make recognition a key element to your organisational culture. It signals that the company values the hard work that its employees undertake. A significant impact on business results can be seen not only in achievements but also in an increase in motivation and engagement.

  7. No Effective Communication
  8. Open and effective communication can help with team building. Employees will be more enthused to contribute and collaborate more with their thoughts being heard. Creating strong bonding among the teams and addressing one another’s needs is necessary when it comes to engagement. So, do you want your employees to be eager to perform well and align with goals? Communication is what you may need to adjust.

  9. No Considerations of Employees’ Personality
  10. Different personalities work better in different situations, understanding that can help team performance in a diverse way. Employers can familiarise their employees with other employees’ characters, styles or even preferences and discover one’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to best approach each other and communicate with each other. A great first step is to identify each team member's personality through a personality assessment.

  11. No Trust and Verification
  12. Good bosses are attentive to the big picture and also the details. Not only caring about the achievements but also the employees. And that’s the best way to show that you are really involved in the entire process. Share information on employees’ achievements in a place where everyone can see it, creating transparency to build trust. Then, give constructive feedback for verification. It allows employees to be more engaged when they know they are being trusted and acknowledged.

  13. No supportive work environment
  14. Building a team-focused atmosphere where the employees feel supported and clearly conduct their duties is beneficial to the entire company. Without this, employees may be less likely to have an emotional commitment to their work and this will lower their motivation and engagement. Do you want your employees just to arrive every day just for a paycheck?

Here’s to leaders who intrinsically motivate their teams!


PS: check out our activities to boost motivation and engagement at the workplace.

Stuart Harris

Co-Founder and Managing Director at Team Building Asia

Stuart Harris has built Team Building Asia into Asia's most prestigious and effective team building company.


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