lack of motivation at work

Discover 4 causes of lack of motivation at work 

Lack of motivation at work is one of the main problems faced by all companies because it can lead to absenteeism, high turnover rates, and difficulties with employees’ psychological well-being. In this post, we discuss why it happens and how to start preventing this problem.

Causes of lack of motivation at work

1. Boredom

A term has recently been used to refer to profound and continuous boredom related to a significant lack of motivation at work: boreout syndrome. It is an emotion caused by the lack of pleasant and interesting stimulation. It is related to the permanent implementation of tasks that are not very novel, are repetitive, with little room for innovation, creativity, learning and acquiring new skills, and taking on new responsibilities

lack of motivation at work

2. Senselessness

Viktor Frankl’s famous maxim said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how'”. The problem arises when the what is so weak that it does not generate momentum towards its execution. It comes from the perception that the tasks being performed (with the investment of resources on behalf of the employee involved) do not lead to anything meaningful, are discarded, are not taken into account, and have no influence or impact on the team’s final results or those of the company as a whole.

3. Uncertainty

Sometimes the problem is not the repetition of tedious tasks or the suspicion/certainty that the work is not worth the effort. Sometimes the lack of motivation at work is generated by uncertainty about the future. It is not easy to get one hundred percent involved in a task or a more complex project if you have doubts about its final approval, its durability, the effect it will have, or the rewards it will give rise to once it is executed, if it is executed at all or if it generates any reward at all. Any employee might ask: why would I put effort into something that I am not sure will have any output, utility, or positive impact?

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4. Job dissatisfaction

Some tasks can be demotivating because they are boring (simple, repetitive, uninteresting, or unattractive), while others generate a lack of motivation at work because they are unpleasant. They make us feel connected to sensations or thoughts that we do not like and, therefore, it is challenging to feel attracted to them. When this happens frequently, we are not only talking about demotivation but a generalized feeling of job dissatisfaction, which indicates a bad experience as employees.

What to do when faced with a lack of motivation at work?

HR managers must pay close attention to the lack of motivation at work that some employees may experience on an ongoing basis. 

Motivating everyone is vital because demotivation at work is a significant source of psychological discomfort. When it affects the most talented workers or those with the most critical roles or with profiles that are more difficult to replace, preventing lack of motivation at work becomes a key issue in human capital management. 

Unfortunately, no magic, quick or universal formulas can prevent or reverse demotivation at work, especially if it is deeply entrenched in an employee’s experience or widespread within the team. However, if we look at the four possible causes of lack of motivation at work mentioned previously, we can sketch a preliminary outline for prevention

It is crucial to review task organization, what they consist of, and how they are distributed among people or within the agenda of the same employee. Falling into a routine is inevitable sooner or later, but it is essential not to give in to it and counterbalance it. On the other hand, improving communication procedures with employees will give them a realistic perspective of their situation and the meaning of their work within the company. 

Getting people to work on interesting or highly stimulating projects is not always possible. Still, it is always possible to take the trouble to take care of the employee experience and prevent psychosocial risk factors associated with work. This can mark the difference between a serious problem of lack of motivation at work and a manageable, temporary demotivation that does not create problems for the company. 

lack of motivation at work

Join the global leading solution in mental well-being

Emotional well-being program for companies

At ifeel, we are solely committed to increasing employees’ and their companies’ well-being at work. That is why we want to help you in the challenge of generating stimulating and healthy work environments for your employees.  

For this purpose, our psychologists have created an emotional well-being program for companies. Through this collaboration, your company’s human resources managers will be able to receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to improve their teams’ psychological well-being. On the other hand, this program provides employees with a complete mental health care service structured at different levels according to their needs. Try our program now to see how it can help you.

Visit our Resources section, where you will find podcasts on different topics (such as an employee experience guide), guides for Human Resources, or interviews with top HR managers. Moreover, take a look at the webinars we organized on occupational health and work environment climate. 

In addition, you will have access to a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which will help you comply with the Labor Inspectorate’s requirements.  

We hope this post on the causes of lack of motivation has been useful for you. Contact us to learn more about how our emotional well-being program for companies works. Get in touch, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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