The 10 biggest motivation killers for employees

Job frustration: There can be various reasons for thisGetty Images

The US Pew Research Center surveyed more than 2,000 employees about their relationship to their job. The results are dramatic: Compared to the situation 20 years ago, the number of employees who are satisfied with their job and working environment has fallen by over ten percent. Among the 18 to 29 year olds, 32 percent are satisfied with their job, among the 30 to 49 year olds only 26 percent and among the over 50 year olds 30 percent.

It is likely to look even more dramatic in Germany if you consider the results of the Gallup Engagement Index, which is collected annually in 155 countries. According to the current study, Germany lags far behind the USA in terms of employee retention, which occupies the top position among the leading industrial nations. Only 15 percent of employees in Germany (33 percent in the US) are emotionally attached to their employer and are accordingly motivated at work. To use a platitude: just one in six employees is passionate about their job. Just as many have already resigned internally and the vast majority of 70 percent push work according to regulations.

It looks even worse in the European Union: On average, only eleven percent of all employees across the EU are emotionally attached to their employer. In contrast, a quarter of the employees have already quit internally. The Gallup study also shows that how long employees stay in the company and how productive they are during this time primarily depends on the leadership behavior of their immediate superior. According to Gallup calculations, internal termination due to poor management costs the German economy a total of up to 105 billion euros annually. What’s wrong?

The National Business Research Institute in Texas took a look at the US market and compiled the most common causes of unsatisfied workforce.

# 1 Lack of communication

The basis of a good relationship is communication. This applies to both private and professional life. The problem in companies starts when employees don’t dare to speak their mind openly. Either because they fear reprisals or not being taken seriously because the boss is convinced of his infallibility. Therefore, companies should make sure that open communication is lived. Feedback, exchange, and praise enliven everyday work just as much as the renunciation of secrecy about business development. “Bad communication is a big problem,” says Tonya Slawinski of Supportive Solutions, a crisis consultancy for companies. “When communication between management and workforce breaks down, rumors quickly arise that have a direct impact on productivity. And have a negative impact on business. “

# 2 Unfair payment

No question about it, hardly any employee will voluntarily claim that they earn too much for what they do. But bonuses and salary increases show that the company sees employee performance and rewards it accordingly. Anyone who has still not received a pay increase after ten years despite excellent work cannot be blamed for only doing their job according to regulations. It is even worse when the employees receive very different salaries for the same work. This causes resentment in the team – and unrest. Before salary negotiations, employees should therefore summarize what their strengths are, which projects they have successfully completed, how their performance has affected the success of the company.

# 3 The (un) safe job

Long gone are the days when the job was like a marriage promise. CVs that only contain one employer are becoming increasingly rare. Nevertheless, Germans need a secure job – more than anything else – in order to feel comfortable in a company. This is also a result of the latest Gallup Engagement Index. When a bunch of “management consultants” newly hatched at the university hops through the corridors of their company and coughs up “downsizing”, “outsourcing” or “synergy effects” on a tour, the employees may be afraid.

# 4 No recognition

When an employee feels that they are being denied recognition, it creates stress that can greatly reduce job performance. “Nothing is worse than giving an employee who has just given everything to complete a project to throw even more work on,” says Joe Folan from the career platform It would be so easy as a small gesture to give him half a working day with a big “thank you”. Honest recognition does not have to be expensive. But it works wonders.

# 5 The boss’s darling

For morale and cohesion in a team, nothing is worse than when the boss prefers his favorite. With more money, more interesting projects or a better schedule. For the rest of the team, it’s a bitter pill that is difficult to swallow.


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