Every business leader dreams of having a fully-functional business with employees that are willing to put in the effort to help it succeed. And while a lot of companies have achieved this in recent years, many CEOs are left scratching their heads about why their team members won’t get their work done. 

In situations where team members are either underperforming or coasting along, it’s easy to point the finger at your employees. After all, they should be willing to go all-in like you do – right? 

Well, no. 

Often, the problem is fixable – but it lies with you. The first step to tackle this issue is becoming aware of why team members don’t want to work, and this article outlines six of the biggest reasons. 

1. Not Listening to Team Members 

It’s not uncommon for employees to go through endless red tape to fix something within a company. But if your business views the people that work for you as nothing more than a cash cow, you’re never going to inspire or motivate them. 

It shouldn’t matter whether someone is entry-level or a department manager. Opinions should be heard equally, and fostering an environment where employees are encouraged to speak up is crucial for fixing problems and innovating. 

Consider adopting a flatter hierarchy where everyone is accessible. You’ll encourage employees to contribute more to your business by doing so. 

2. Not Giving Positive Recognition

Humans react well when others praise them in all walks of life, and that’s no different when it comes to doing their jobs. 

Don’t just take our word for it, though; statistics back this up. In September 2021, Great Place to Work published research identifying what drives great work; 37% of respondents said that recognition was the most important thing. 

Giving positive recognition doesn’t mean that you have to throw a party every time someone goes above and beyond. A simple shoutout or “I’m proud of you” goes a long way. 

One way to promote a culture that encourages recognising others’ achievements is by scheduling a weekly catch-up where everyone shares their big and small wins. 

3. Not Providing Valuable Feedback

Positive feedback is a great start to help motivate your teams, but identifying problems when they arise is just as crucial. Giving constructive tips for improvement when something is something that many people struggle to handle, especially if they’re conflict-averse. 

When providing feedback for something that didn’t go well, shaming the other person is not the answer. 

Instead, you should be empathetic and start by talking about what you thought went well. After that, tell them why you thought their completed task wasn’t satisfactory – and give them guidance to help them improve in the future. 

Giving feedback and not laying it into your employees when they make a mistake will remove the fear of making errors, giving them more freedom to try new things that might click. Moreover, it’ll help them work more efficiently going forward. 

4. Being Passive-Aggressive

It’s easy to disregard others’ questions and feelings when you feel like you’re under pressure. However, you must remember that you aren’t the only person with a demanding job – and part of your role as a leader is to lead. 

The last type of leader that any employee wants to work with is one that makes them feel like helping them is a chore. Being passive-aggressive when others ask questions is an excellent way to disengage others and make them lose trust in you. 

Naturally, you’ll have days where you feel more stressed. However, learning to not take that out on others is essential. Consider hiring a business or career coach to help you deal with this healthily. 

5. Not Being Clear About the Joint Mission

Almost every industry is becoming more competitive, and older companies are being kept on their feet by innovative new disruptors. If you look at a list of every successful business, most will have one thing in common: a clear company mission. 

Having a mission statement is crucial for your employees too. As reported by Jobvite, 46% of people said that company culture was very important. That was published before the pandemic, and the importance will only have increased for many since then. 

You can only develop a good company culture if you have a clear mission, and you should start there if your employees are disengaged. Then, you can focus on fostering a culture that drives excellence. 

6. Not Paying Employees What They’re Worth 

Money isn’t the only reason that an employee will accept a job offer, but it is one of the most important ones. Team members in several companies feel under-compensated for the amount of time they put into their jobs. 

A lot of people don’t like to admit it, but money is a huge motivator in creating excellent work. The first reason is that employees will feel like their efforts are appreciated, and the second is that not needing to worry about putting food on the table will free up their minds to think creatively. 

If an employee asks for a pay rise and they’ve consistently shown that they’re willing to put in excellent work, you should look at how you can accommodate this. Otherwise, you’ll also run the risk of them leaving you for someone else. 

Knowing Why Your Team Isn’t Motivated Is the First Step to Success

If you consistently find that large numbers of your employees aren’t feeling motivated to put in excellent work each day, it’s a clear sign that you need to look for deeper issues. Often, it’s because of leadership-related issues rather than the team members themselves. 

It’s worth spending a considerable amount of time to figure out what you can do to change your environment. The first step is understanding what you’re doing wrong, and this article should have at least provided an indicator. 

By understanding your pitfalls and adapting to these accordingly, you’ll slowly begin to engage your employees and increase your bottom line – as well as their overall job satisfaction.

Are you a senior leader or business owner who wants support with building a team culture of smart collaboration and peak performance? Book a free consultation to discuss training or coaching for you/your team here.

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