A full office of motivated, engaged employees is one of the best things a manager could wish for. When everyone is working together and aiming for a common goal, there are fewer issues with unmet targets, substandard performance and costly unnecessary days off.

Unfortunately, a full workplace of motivated employees can be very difficult to achieve. A 2013 study from Gallup revealed that only an average of 13 per cent of employees are engaged at work worldwide, and even though Australia and New Zealand fared extremely well by coming in second place with 24 per cent of employees being engaged, those numbers are still very low.

So how do employees lose their enthusiasm for the job?

Lack of advancement opportunities

If it’s clear to an employee that there’s no chance of moving up the ranks or learning anything new in their position, it can be very hard for them to keep striving to work at their best. Even the most driven, self-starting individuals can lose motivation over time without this incentive, and according to a study by Bamboo HR, advancement is the number one reason why people leave their jobs.

Poor management

Whether it’s bad decision making by the higher ups, micromanagement, or something else, working under a bad manager is a fast track to losing interest in the job. While some people will simply not get along based on personality differences, if you are seeing low motivation, or even high turnover, from one manager, consider if this could be the cause.

Another Gallup study, this one from 2015, found that one in two workers had left a job at some point in their life simply to get away from a bad manager. If there are that many going to the lengths of leaving because of it, how many more are demotivated by a lacklustre manager?

Lack of appreciation

It seems obvious that if an employee goes the extra mile or does a great job on a project, they should get a ‘thank you’ or a ‘well done’ from the boss. Without even such a small showing of appreciation of thanks, that employee will hardly continue with their driven attitude.

When UK recruitment website Monster surveyed 2,000 employees, they found that 58 per cent of employees felt they didn’t get thanked enough at work. A full 41 per cent were demotivated as a result.


The daily 9-5 can become something of a Groundhog Day when there is little variation in the work and routines in any position. Once an employee has been in the same role for more than a year without any kind of challenge or variety, it’s no wonder they lose interest in the role due to boredom.

Hold regular meetings with your staff to check if this is becoming an issue. If it is, consider introducing training programs, new responsibilities, buddy systems, flexible working hours, or a suggestion of their own. In many cases, the strategies to prevent boredom are also beneficial for the company.