52 Things Managers do that demotivate staff

52 Things Managers do that demotivate staff

I went to my over 34 000 Linkedin and over 11 000 Twitter followers and asked them about the things managers do that demotivate them. Here is the checklist for managers as you assess yourself.

  1. Nepotism
  2. Favoritism 
  3. Lack of non-monetary benefits to employees yet manager has housing loans, vehicles loans, holiday allowances, school fees benefits.
  4. Macromaging subordinates.
  5. Venting their frustrations on subordinates.
  6. Making decisions that benefit managers only.
  7. Requesting for business initiatives from staff which initiatives are never taken into consideration or implemented.
  8. Promoting staff on tribal lines.
  9. Dating members of staff.
  10. Policy inconsistencies.
  11. Failing to recognise effort and commitment from subordinates.
  12. Inhibiting subordinate growth, e.g. not exposing you to tasks and opportunities which might help you grow career-wise.
  13. Lack of respect, especially to women in the workplace.
  14. Over criticising subordinates
  15. Failing to consult lower-level staff before making decisions that affect them.
  16. Not allocating enough resources to their subordinates.
  17. Bully mentality and being rude
  18. Blaming subordinates even for their faults.
  19. Violation of workers rights.
  20. Not honoring shop floor/ workplace agreements.
  21. Lack of respect.
  22. Looking down on the subordinate almost arrogantly and condescendingly.
  23. Threatening to fire employees.
  24. Lack of empathy.
  25. Shouting at your subordinate in front of clients.
  26. Promoting people who do not challenge them.
  27. Gossiping with lower-level employees.
  28. Being hypocritical.
  29. When you communicate on WhatsApp or WhatsApp groups, they respond with emojis.
  30. Taking credit for work done by subordinates.
  31. Backbiting subordinates.
  32. Not giving feedback.
  33. Not supportive of innovation initiatives.
  34. Reprimanding in public
  35. Blaming subordinates when a project or task is rated poorly by external stakeholders.
  36. Telling juniors that they are paid to act on given instructions and not to think.
  37. Undermining subordinates.
  38. Managing through threats.
  39. Underpaying subordinates.
  40. Lack of transparency in decision-making.
  41. Feeling personally threatened by new ideas.
  42. Act as if they are doing me a favour by employing me.
  43. Lack of professionalism.
  44. Lack of flexibility.
  45. Lack of appreciation or recognition.
  46. Threatening to fire employees daily.
  47. Employing or promoting mediocre characters.
  48. Preaching “Customer is King”, but treating employees like slaves
  49. Lying/Dishonesty
  50. Lack of emotional intelligence
  51. Traffic police officer kind of attitude, quick to speak and slow to listen.
  52. Showing off to their underpaid staff can be so demotivating.


Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.Email:mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com or visit our websites The Human Capital Hub

Memory Nguwi
Super User
This article was written by Memory a Super User at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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