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Five guaranteed ways to completely ruin employee morale (that should be avoided at all costs)

Five guaranteed ways to completely ruin employee morale (that should be avoided at all costs)
17th January 2020

Five guaranteed ways to completely ruin employee morale (that should be avoided at all costs)

As a manager, your main focus is undoubtedly your company’s bottom line, and a large part of your job will be taken up with achieving and maintaining business success and growth. A major factor in achieving these outcomes is the productivity of your workforce, which is most often fostered through clear instructions, goal setting and performance management. However, there’s more to managing your way to success than simply telling people what to do: motivation plays a huge role in productivity, but unfortunately managers often become so fixated on goal setting they seriously demotivate their employees, causing grave repercussions for company growth.

While ways to effectively motivate a workforce vary hugely from one organisation to another, there are certain common pitfalls that are guaranteed to completely ruin employee morale (and should be avoided at all costs).


Comparisons between employees are unfair. They create tension and bitterness in the workforce and are far more likely to motivate someone towards aiming for the door than aiming higher in their job. Staff should be celebrated for their individual skills and successes, and if you ever need to address someone’s poor performance, this should be done discreetly and in private.


Similarly, always praising the same employees or always asking the same team members to meetings are sure fire ways to alienate the others and make them feel unseen and unappreciated. Of course it’s important to reward consistently high-achieving staff, but there is a balance, and it’s vital to ensure other team members don’t feel left out.

Lack of communication

Keeping employees in the dark about company news leads to gossip, suspicion and fear. Openness and transparency is vital to fostering trust, teamwork, problem solving, and the motivation to work together to hit business targets.


Micromanaging your employees is a sign that you don’t trust them or their abilities. It’s an instant motivation killer and should be avoided at all costs. Once again, it’s something of a balancing act, as it’s important to check in with your staff, but giving them the freedom to manage their own tasks and workload will also give them the opportunity to use their unique skills (the reasons you hired them in the first place!) to contribute to achieving overall company success.


Gossiping about colleagues or employees is a one-way road to alienation. Your staff will learn not to trust you and will be far less likely to come to you with any problems or questions. Moreover, they will be so scared of what you might be saying about them that they will be too afraid to make any meaningful contributions to the team. Motivating your employees is about building a rapport and fostering a real relationship, so that you collaborate, support each other and work together to get things done.

This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.

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