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Three signs your employees are demotivated

Posted on June 15, 2016 2:00 pm;

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by Erika Murigi


There are many reasons an employee might feel demotivated at work - organisational changes, not being able

to keep up with deadlines, changes to their job role. Whatever the reason, it’s common for a person to

experience negative emotional and physiological feelings and become dissatisfied and demotivated in

response. Here are three common signs that your employees are on a downward slope:


Loss of productivity

If you, or one of your employees, has started to underachieve and become less productive it could be a sign of

demotivation. This might happen in response to a specific project when a person isn’t enjoying an aspect of a

particular piece of work or it could be down to personal events, but when the loss of productivity becomes a

trend, it’s highly likely that person is not feeling very motivated to do their job.



Has one of your coworkers started frequently calling out of work or taking longer lunch breaks? If they

formerly had a perfect attendance record, the shift to being perpetually absent or late could be a sign that

he/she is feeling demotivated. Absenteeism doesn’t just have to refer to a physical absence. If the person is

constantly surfing the net or doing something other than their own work, it’s likely they are feel demotivated.


Changes in behaviour and attitude

Someone who is tired, stressed out or feeling directionless may become argumentative with their team

members, irritable or inattentive. They may also switch from being a proactive, engaged employee to

spending a lot of time gossiping and complaining about the company and acting bored and uninvolved in

meetings. They may also be cause of complaints from other employees or even clients.


While it’s not uncommon for employees to feel demotivated from time to time, it can become a problem

when it persists. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve motivation:


  •  Ask the employee if there are any problems and whether you can help
  •  If necessary review and revise the employe’s goals and objectives to renew interest
  • Incorporate incentives
  • Offer training to allow the employee to expand and learn

By recognising the signs, employers can address the issues at hand and instil a happy, productive workforce

with highly-motivated employees.


The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP credentials are focused on the competencies and knowledge all HR professionals

need to lead in today’s business community and tackle design approaches for a motivational work environment among

other topics.

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