How to Demotivate Remote Workers in 10 Easy Steps

How to Demotivate Remote Workers in 10 Easy Steps

How to Demotivate Remote Workers in 10 Easy Steps

Even before Covid-19 changed the world of work, engagement levels were reportedly at their lowest for years, with some suggestions that 85% of global workers were disengaged.  Levels of ‘presenteeism’ and stress-related sickness-absence were also on the increase, as well as the war for talent  worsening, in particular in the UK due to Brexit.  Leaders and HR were constantly trying to find creative ways to motivate and retain talent

In the Covid world of working from home, previous incentives, such as free car parking, gym memberships, or free fruit, mostly became defunct from March 2020 due to lockdownsSo, trying to motivate a remote workforce and create a positive remote working culture have been some of the new challenges for leaders and HR. 

Although some workers are struggling to maintain a work/life balance due to attending online meetings all day and throughout what was their commuting time, it’s now being suggested that over 90% of remote workers don’t want to return to the office as they are enjoying the benefits of flexible working.

Now more than ever, most employees want trust, recognition, thanks, open and honest communication, and, above all, a feeling of being valued.  Here are the 10 easy steps that line managers can take to easily demotivate their remote team members:

1. Not being sympathetic to the many issues everyone is dealing with, whether that be home schooling, caring for vulnerable relatives, recovering from long-Covid, or the myriad of other key life events which are exacerbated by the pandemic, such as bereavement or divorce. 

2. A general lack of communication, sending too many emails, or emailing constructive feedback, especially on a Friday afternoon, which will demoralize and stress out their team members.

3. Losing trust by not being open, honest, and authentic or the line manager doesn’t lead by example, such as not complying with Covid-19 restrictions.

4. Promising promotion, a new role, a pay rise, or bonus and then reneging, but having noticeable favourites and promoting or rewarding them, regardless of talent or work ethic.

5. Not empowering team members to do the job, but adopting an autocratic and controlling leadership style and not allowing open constructive debate and feedback  in online meetings, which stifles innovation, creativity, ownership and accountability.

6. Not holding or cancelling regular 1:1s which provide an opportunity to give honest feedback and avoiding online team meetings which can help to break down silos and encourage collaboration.

7. Having no clear aligned objectives, which the team member can work towards, resulting in a lack of understanding of how their work contributes to the bigger picture, and to the success of the organization. 

8. Managing Performance during lockdowns is a hot topic when so many employees are remote working.  However, if genuine poor performance is not dealt with, then high performing team members become frustrated and disappointed at the lack of constructive feedback given to their underperforming colleagues. 

9. Booking online meetings all day every day so employees become overloaded with work, which can result in Stress and burnout.

10. A lack of professional onboarding and training for new recruits, letting them try to find their own way, resulting in confusion and a longer time to get up to speed with the role.

The above behaviours can result in a toxic remote culture, which leads to low morale, inefficiency and underperformance.  Remember that 50% of employees cite their boss as the main reason for moving on, which can be costly when considering the associated time and expense involved in recruitment, onboarding and training to fill a role.

In addition to engagement and pulse surveys,  online 360 Feedback Reviews are another excellent way to identify how line managers are viewed by their team members, with follow up Executive Coaching providing effective tools and techniques to address issues.  The resultant increased levels of engagement, productivity, and retention can lead to ROI of 7,000%.

‘Jill provides a great sounding board, and is able to reflect back to me what the underlying issues might be with some powerfully incisive questions.  She has been reassuring and empowering while encouraging me to make the kinds of changes that will result in a better work-life balance’.  Line Manager

Stay safe, stay positive.

About Jill Maidment

Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Career and Transition Coaching, Business Coaching, Resilience Coaching, Life Coaching 

Executive Assessment, 360 Feedback, Face to Face 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning

Leadership Training, High Performance Leadership Development, Management Training, Leadership and Management Team Development, Board Facilitation, Coaching Academy