6 Ways to Demotivate Your Employees

During my 35+ years in the workplace I have seen quite a few different management and leadership styles. Some have been very inspirational while others have been something out a horror film.

From those observations I have developed a list of behaviors and attributes that will definitely demotivate your employees, inhibit productivity, lower morale and eventually drive good people out of the organization. Here they are:


1. Manage by ‘Fear & Intimidation’

  • Be a bully
  • Offer no praise nor acknowledgement of any contribution or accomplishments
  • Berate and humiliate people publicly
  • Don’t treat people with respect
  • Be unpredictable in your reactions – Jekyll and Hyde
  • Yell, scream and lose your temper
  • Openly threaten people with their jobs
  • Second guess everyone and tell them so
  • Tell people they’re stupid when they offer up ideas
  • Pitch an idea and then question the commitment of those who disagree with you
  • Reach down to the lowest level of the organization and reprimand those people  yourself
  • Set unreasonable goals and objectives and hammer on people when they fall short

2. Create an Environment of No Trust

  • Lie to your staff
  • Openly bad mouth members of your staff to their peers
  • Ask staff members to tattle on their peers
  • Play Favorites
  • Don’t treat everyone the same way
  • Have different levels of accountability
  • Openly take sides in disputes amongst staff members
  • Get one side of an issue and make a decision
  • Hire senior people and don’t tell others what his/her role is
  • Constantly look for things that are not right and point them out in a hostile manner
  • Have policies in place and then don’t follow them

3. Micromanage

  • Have no faith or trust in your team – And tell them so
  • Make every decision yourself regardless of how small
  • Listen to no one other than your favorites
  • Don’t ask for input from anyone – Just tell them

4. Don’t Communicate

  • Keep everyone guessing as to the plan (Vision/Strategy)
  • Don’t hold staff or employee meetings – Keep them in the dark
  • Don’t provide any information as to what’s going on within the organization-

5. Constantly Change the Organizations Direction and Priorities

  • Don’t follow-through on key initiatives
  • Function under the ‘Flavor of the Month’ syndrome
  • When asked where the organization is going, openly express your frustration  and berate the individual asking the question

6. Make Promises You Have No Intention of Keeping

  • Bonus Plans
  • Raises
  • Promotions

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