10 Dumb Ways to De-Motivate Your Team

10 Dumb Ways to De-Motivate Your Team

1.Ignore them

Obvious, right? Yet there’s lots of ways to ignore people. Be constantly in meetings and/or out of the office. Say your ‘door is always open’, but it’s usually closed. Be distracted by your email or phone while they’re talking with you. Avoid eye contact as you walk through the office. Tell them you’ll get back to them – and then don’t.


2.Forget they have a life outside work

When was the last time you asked a team member how their weekend was? Wished them Happy Birthday? Enquired about their spouse, kids or their favourite pastime?


3.Treat them like Robots

Similar to #2, this is more about telling (or implying) that work hours are all about ‘head down, bottom up’ and just get on with your job. I vividly remember a manager saying to me “I don’t pay you to think, Sandi – I pay you to do.”


4.Never say ‘Thank You’

Lack of appreciation is one of the most commonly cited reasons for employees leaving an organisation. All it takes is 5 seconds and a sincere comment of gratitude for what they’ve done.


5.Answer their questions with “Because I’m the Boss …”

Influence by authority can and does work. But it is usually short-lived. Failure to provide reasons or explanations (not justifications) for your decisions is just plain foolish – and dangerous.


6.Arrive late, leave early and have long lunches

‘Don’t do as I do – do as I say’ just doesn’t cut it. You’re the role model – be the example.


7.Have favourites

Nothing’s worse for an employee than feeling powerless because you’re not one of the favoured ones. Remember being the last one picked for a team at school, or being outside of the ‘in crowd’?


8.Be indecisive

Having to correct course after a less than favourable decision might frustrate your team – but the lack of any decision at all will be far more irritating and likely to kill their initiative.


9.Say you know something when you don’t

It will always – I repeat always catch up with you.


10.Say you don’t know something when you do

Most people are pretty smart – they know when someone’s pulling the wool over their eyes. Politicians have taught us how to pick up in this – don’t add to your team’s scepticism.


Which ones are you guilty of? I'd love to hear your comments - please share your thoughts below!

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