5 Reasons Small Business Employees Lose Motivation
Motivation is someone’s willingness or desire to get the job done, instead of giving into procrastination and other distractions. When your employees are driven, they’ll happily go above and beyond to produce their best work for your small business. If they’re not motivated, however, you might notice a decrease in productivity and an increase in absenteeism. The work being produced might not be as high quality as you expect.
The key to encouraging your team members who feel unenthusiastic
is to find out what’s causing their lack of motivation, which can help you
create a targeted strategy to help boost their drive. Keep reading to learn
five reasons your small business workers may have lost their motivation.
1. They lack confidence
An employee may lose motivation because they don’t think
they have the skills necessary to complete their work. They might have a
project or problem facing them that seems daunting or requires them to use new
skills for the first time.
Try to build their confidence; you hired them because of
their skills and potential, so help them live up to those expectations. Remind
them of previous challenges they’ve overcome and offer extra support until they
prove to themselves that they can do it. They might feel overwhelmed by the
task at hand, so help them break their work into manageable chunks so they can
start to get a sense of achievement right away.
2. They don’t know what went wrong
Sometimes, a staff member loses motivation because they keep
running into problems that they think are beyond their control. When this
happens, you might notice that the employee is looking for excuses not to carry
out their work; they might call in sick more often, claim they’re overcommitted
and don’t have enough time, or try to pawn off the work to a coworker.
To help them gain their enthusiasm back, talk to them about
what’s going wrong and what problems they’re facing. They might claim that it’s
someone else’s fault or a flaw in themselves that just can’t be fixed. Suggest other
causes that are under their control. For example, you might point out that they
should try a new strategy or take time to do some prep work before diving into
the task at hand. That way, they’ll be able to avoid the problem they can’t control
while still completing their work.
3. They don’t feel appreciated
Everyone wants their hard work to be rewarded, so your team
might start to lose motivation if they think no one seems to notice their work
and achievements. They might also lose interest if they notice someone else
slacking off but still getting the same treatment and benefits as they are.
To help them gain their enthusiasm back, find ways to reward
them for meeting their goals and going above and beyond for the company. You
might not always be able to afford to give a star employee
a raise or a bonus, but a heartfelt “thank you” can go a long way. You
can also make sure they know how their work fits into the bigger picture by
helping the business achieves its goals.
Give your team regular feedback so they know where they’re
excelling and where they still need improvement. This can help them feel
appreciated because they know you care enough to help them become better at
their jobs. Learn more about showing
your staff you care about them.
4. They don’t think you trust them
There are a lot of reasons your workers might think you
don’t trust them. For example, you might be trying to micromanage everything
your employees do or make them jump through hoops to make a decision that
affects their work. If your team notices that you’re always working long hours
and never seem to take a break, they’re likely to assume that you’re doing
everything yourself because you don’t trust them to get the job done.
You can show your employees that you do trust them by
explaining the goal of each project and any criteria. After that, give them the
freedom they need to do the job their way. You should also make it clear that
you’re always available to listen to feedback and ideas. Then, try to implement
some of their ideas.
Finally, don’t be afraid to delegate.
Your small business is your passion, and if you built it from the ground up
yourself, it can be difficult to relinquish the reins. You hired each member of
your staff because of their skills and experience, so take advantage of what
they bring to the table. You’ll also lessen your workload, which can help you
maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout.
5. They don’t see any future growth opportunities
Your employees might start to lose motivation because they
think the job is a dead end, so they’re starting to focus on their next career
move. They might feel this way because they don’t think they have a way to move
up the ladder or because you’re not offering any opportunities to learn new
skills or improve existing skills. If anyone stays in the same place for too
long, they’ll get bored.
You can help them move past these thoughts by offering
opportunities to learn and advance. You can help them find courses or offer
them more challenging tasks, so they can develop their skills on the job. By helping
your workers develop, you’ll have a more motivated workforce and decreased
Each contributor on the Workful Editorial Team holds an advanced degree in business-related studies and/or communication and has written for other small business publications, including SmallBizDaily, HR.com, and Business.com. The information in this article is based on thorough research and has been edited for accuracy and timeliness by Workful’s Human Resources experts. While this blog is meant to inform and educate small business owners, it is not intended to provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice.