“I can never commit myself too much at work because my boss never appreciates, she always looks for something to complain about,” says Aisha Kakyo. Disrespect, and being ungrateful are some of the simple things that demoralise your teammates hence causing poor performance at work. That is the cry of several demotivated employees. The issues that affect them stretch even further
Herbert Zaake, a Managing Consultant at Steadfast Quality Solutions Limited, notes that when an employee does not know what is expected of them at work, they keep guessing what they are supposed to do since there are no job descriptions and objectives or key performance indicators.
Lack of work materials
“In an office setting, one is expected to have a computer as a basic. An instance where 10 staff members have to share one computer can be very demoralising,” he says. He advocates that a manager should provide employees with the tools of trade.
Lack of appreciation
Zaake adds that a boss who does not recognise the good work done by their employees demotivates them. Some managers choose to take the credit yet their employees have done the good work. Other managers do not recognise their employees for fear that they may become complacent and stop doing the good work. Appreciation does not have to be expensive, it could be as simple as a thank you, an email or recognition amongst fellow employees. Budget allowing, it could be a dinner with the CEO or shopping voucher to a supermarket.
Dorothy Nabatanzi, the director Tech limited, Luzira, notes that the manager needs to have empathy. They should put themselves in the shoes of their subordinates. At the end of the day, they are human beings. She notes that some managers only care about productivity and will not listen when an employee has a personal challenge such as being sick or having a sick close relative or are bereaved.
“For someone who gives you eight hours of work every day, every week and every month, you need to feel for them when they genuinely have a problem. By doing so, you win their hearts over and they will be prepared to go the extra mile for you,” she notes.
Lack of support
Employees are interested in career development and the manager should support them in this regard. They may want to move either vertically to a higher level or horizontally to another job at the same level. Many managers are selfish and wish to keep highly performing employees in the same role to benefit the manager. This can be demoralising to staff members because the manager is blocking their development. Managers should prepare their employees for the next level. By so doing, they prepare the ground for themselves to advance as well making both juniors and seniors benefit.
Zubedah Kunihira, the director Kaladon limited, Bukoto, notes that it can be very demoralising in cases where the manager does not consult employees before making decisions and implementing initiatives. This is the autocratic style of management. Employees feel they have a contribution to make to their team when their opinions count and are listened to.
Zaake says that this is where the supervisor is always over your shoulder trying to check what you are doing or constantly giving you instructions on how to conduct your work it can be very draining and demotivating. He says, employees need to be given some space to think and explore different ways of accomplishing their work. It should not be dictated by the manager lest they suffocate those below them. Zaake believes that some managers do this because of inferiority complex, others do not know how to delegate while some feel insecure and try to assert their presence.
Kunihira adds that employees need to be treated equally, fairly and in a transparent and explainable manner. “No one should be ‘above the law’” she states. Managers need to lead by example and be role models, recruitment and promotions should be on merit. Similarly, poor performance should not be tolerated, a very hardworking employee will feel demotivated when a non-performing colleague is so tolerated that they get away with any misdemeanour.
It is extremely important that the manager keeps promises they make. When they do not then they lose credibility among the employees. The net effect of this is demoralization and demotivation. “Managers should not make promises that are not within their control, for example a promotion or a bonus,” Zaake notes.
The world is about helping one another to achieve our goals. The same transcends in the office world for no man is an island.