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January 04, 2021 425 Be the first to comment!


By -  Ejirefe Influence.


The job of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is to hire and fire while the job of the employees is to solve sudden, present and future problems of the organisation.

Failure to solve the problems is expected to attract the hammer of the CEO or Employer sooner or later. To climb the ladder of success and to continue to remain the share leader and captain of the industry, business organisations go for quality employees to continue to maintain their position. They hire those they adjudged skilful with sound mind to achieve the objectives of the business. It is a good idea to hire qualified candidates in line with the nature of the business and set out objectives to be achieved. Having engaged the employees, you prepare them for the immediate task and the task ahead via on the job and off the job training so that they can be able to achieve the objectives of the business.

To hire employees is one thing. Training them to accomplish task is another thing. For employees to work willingly and productive, they need motivation. Choksi (2018) asserts that motivation is the key to a happy and productive organisation. Everyone needs to be motivated or enthused in all aspects of life. Motivation plays an important role in employee productivity, quality, and speed of work.

When employees are demotivated they form a mind-set that makes them to act in a particular way that is harmful to the organisation (bad attitude). When such happens, the security of the demotivated or dispirited and naughty employees, other employees and that of the organisation will be in the balance.

Demotivation is contagious: even one demotivated employee with bad attitude who constantly cribs about work or other undesirable factors can quickly succeed in demotivating others too. Demotivation and bad attitudes are actions created by either the employee itself, themselves, management or the organisation. Organisations are prone to the danger of demotivation and bad attitudes at all times. So, it’s important to be aware of it, recognise it and tackle it (Choksi, 2018). Otherwise, the consequences will be too crushing for management and the organisation to stand.


If you hear or fear that your employees may be disengaged, lacking in motivation and naughty at work, here are some common reasons/causes that could be the root of the matter.

  1. Bossy management style: When the management, manager, etc is being overly zealous and bossy, feels his or her subordinates and other employees knows nothing and believes he knows it all, constantly pressuring and intimidating, bias in promotion and lacks flexibility as well, breeds discontent and perceived mistrust on the subordinates and other employees abilities. Such bad attitudes demotivate employees. Effective leadership is what is needed in organisation. The leader must practice inclusiveness and instil confidence on the subordinates and other employees to inspire them to work willingly to achieve organisational goals; otherwise, neither the short nor longstanding objectives of the organisation will be achieved.
  2. Too much work and no appreciation for work done: A situation where there is too much work done and there is no appreciation from the manager is not a thing to be happy about. Workers don’t like it. They feel disappointed, frazzled and lose the determination to work. Appreciation from the manager motivates. The absence of it gives room for bad-mounting the manager behind his back. Do not create room in the mind of employee to spit venom. Honestly, when employees are not appreciated they feel undervalued and soon start to lose interest and commitment to their job. A situation where the manager or boss cannot say “well done” is dangerous. Not even a thumbs-up or pat on the back. Of course, the employees will develop diarrhoea of the mouth (bad attitudes) and unleash it on their bosses; saying that management or their bosses are blind and cannot appreciate good things.
  • Inadequate training and development and lack of career progression: Many employees love to be trained and participate in developmental programmes. Some employees want to make up for lost time and reawaken lost opportunities by enrolling in short courses and developmental programmes in polytechnics, colleges of education and universities to upgrade their seat of reasoning or rather medulla oblongata for today, tomorrow and future sake for their good and that of their organisations, but some bosses will not allow this to happen. Why and what are they afraid of? This is one of the very reason why some employees get demotivated, furious and begin to say some unprintable words against management. Words such as ‘Airforce’ in Warri local parlance meaning ‘witches and wizard,’ ‘Azen’ in Edo language also means ‘witches and wizard’, ‘Kpians’ in Warri local parlance meaning ‘enemies of progress’, ‘Orue’ in Urhobo language meaning ‘mad people’. These are no accolades or rather palatable comments. It thus happens, especially when the manager or leader is myopic and cannot create influence because he or she lacks abundance mentality.

Apart from training and development, management should also bear in mind that sometimes, money is just a microcosm of employees’ motivation. Most employees want career progression in their organisation. The absence of career progression also demotivates employees.  

  1. Delay in salary payment: When salaries are not paid as at when due, it demotivates employees and sometimes instigates some of the workers to start to demarket their organisation. On no account or circumstances should employees demarket their organisation. Small minds; they soon forgot that such challenges are expected to crop up and they are expected to solve them. You are employed to solve problems. That is the only reason why you were employed in the first place. Don’t run away from problems. The organisation’s problems are your problems, solve them. In spite of the existence of the public relations department, all employees, serving or retired remained the official and unofficial public relations officers of their current and former organisations. M.K.O Abiola once said ‘you cannot clap with one hand, except with two hands’. Clap for your organisation with two hands. In good times and bad times learn to promote your company. She deserves kudos and not bad attitudes. Withdraw that red card and stop blowing that naughty whistle; it doesn’t sound nice.
  2. Poor/Insufficient salary: This is a major reason/cause for grand corruption in the civil service and petty corruption in private organisations. They lose interest on the job and do their own thing via stealing. I used to say “it is not easy for Mr Easy”. If you feel you deserve more, go and establish your own company and employ people to work for you and then you will know how far and how well. I pray for you - it is well with you. Learn to appreciate the concept of “small is beautiful”.
  3. Lack of working tools: What is the point of employing people and not provide tools to work. Employers who allow this are not serious. Such prompt employees’ vindictiveness and acrimony with management (bad attitudes).
  • Job insecurity: Frequent layoff, retrenchment, premature retirements or superannuation instil fear on employees that it may soon be their turn to go or sacked when they are of course not ready. Such anomalous and atypical propensities encourages demotivation and naughty squabbles.  
  • Inadequate or lack of toolbox: Inadequate toolbox or complete lack of it especially in a technical environment causes accidents and demotivates and was enough reason for some employees to use practical jokes (horseplay) to insult management. Without adequate safety instructions many employees will be accidents waiting to happen.


Just as the challenge of demotivation, “a bad attitude is like a flat tyre, you can’t go anywhere until you change it” (Anonymous). Apparently, demotivated employees and employees with bad attitudes at workplace is a red flag that organisation must tackle without delay. These phenomena at workplace can be tackled with the following strategies:

  1. Management should practice effective leadership, lead by example, be honest and fair and never talk the employees down, so that they will willingly follow the leaders and enthusiastically achieve organisational objectives. Moreover, Managers should create influence through abundance mentality.
  2. Employees should be appreciated according to their performance to make them happy and alive to their duties.
  • Management should make provision for the training and development of their employees and encourage career progression to motivate employees to serve the organisation better.
  1. Employees have bills to pay. Pay them as at when due to serve you better.
  2. Employers should pay their workers well for a job well done. In some organisations, poor or insufficient salaries encourage some employees with criminal inclinations to steal.
  3. Provide working tools for employees to work. Otherwise, workers will remain idle doing nothing and the organisation will be the major loser.
  • Management should show evidence of job security to encourage employees to put in their best for the organisation. Gone are the days of threatening employees with query and sack letter. Sacking employees unceremoniously is obsolete. Such archaic threat is alien to the survival of organisations in the 21st
  • Management should provide safety instructions at all times to avoid a near-mis and accidents and ensure that the office is a place for serious business and not for practical jokes. No employee should play away the office time. The office is not a comedy centre or games village. No horseplay.
  1. Talk to and understand employees with bad attitudes and device a strategy that work in changing their attitudes.
  2. Employees should maintain cordial relationship with their managers and co-workers.
  3. Gossip is a sign of irresponsibility. Be responsible and do not gossip your colleagues to your superiors.
  • Show your superiors that you are reliable and capable of achieving goals.


Security is a world-wide phenomenon that affects everything that happens these days and as a result, we must be cautious and take at least a moment to think having consideration for consequences of our actions before we say something, do anything or take any decision. The following are the security repercussions of demotivated employees and employees with bad attitudes for management and business organisations:

  1. When management is too bossy or rather becoming too bossy in every ways, it affects the organisation negatively. Their actions breed irresponsibility in some employees of the organisation. Workers try as much as possible to avoid bossy managers and it causes lousiness in some employees as they start coming late to work just to avoid the bossy manager. Lateness to work is a bad attitude and sign of demotivation. If nothing is done about it, it can affect other employees as they too will soon start coming late to work. Lateness to work no doubt decrease productivity and that is a danger signal. Such actions will, sooner or later, affect quantity, quality and profit of the organisation.
  2. Management should provide opportunities for training and development and career progression and if employees have done well, appreciate them. Sometimes I wonder why simple suggestion such as this looks cumbersome to management.

When you train and develop your workers, they will serve you better. But ignoring them mean continuity in old ways of doing things and productivity will be low. Also create avenues for career progression otherwise they may resort to sabotage and when they have done well recognise them. It is important for management to do the needful otherwise, employees will remain rusty and do somethings anyhow because they are not trained and those of them with criminal tendencies will congratulate themselves anyhow for a job well done by theft, and management will not like it. Some spoilage and cases of theft in organisations are caused by management insensitivity to training and development, career progression and lack of appreciation of workers efforts. This is not a threat but just to let management know that theft exists in organisation and it’s a security issue and kind of protest for employees with criminal inclinations. Stealing is an organisation where you work is bad but then, it thus happens.

  • Organisations where salaries are not paid as at when due are breeding dynamites for a rainy day. Many of the workers who completely depend on the organisation as their only source of income are always unhappy because they are always in debts. A debtor is always a story teller, a sad one for that matter. Every time he is discussing something else with friends he would always remind them how much his company is owing him as if they are the one owing him. Debtors are sad because people know them in their neighbourhood as debtors and treat them as ne’er do well, hence they are always at loggerhead with their landlord and against everybody. They are already owing too much and by the time the salary eventually comes and they settle their bills, their pockets are empty and they get frustrated, very unhappy and turn themselves into monsters. A frustrated employee is a calamitous employee and a minus to his company and fellow staff. Every time, he or she is ready for war; forgetting that the office is not a battleground. Such staff undermine the authority of management. They talk rudely to everyone. Anytime fellow workers express their view different from theirs they feel threatened that somebody is after them. Too bad they treat feedback as a personal attack. Employees with that kind of frustration on his face every time cannot be trusted. They can be swift, chaotic and destructive.
  1. In an environment where employees are poorly paid, some employees deliberately manifest bad attitudes at workplace. Such workers have simple or no iota of faith in their organisation, and that is a security risk. As far as they are concerned, there is nothing in the organisation for them. They prefer to be idle in the midst of so much to do, gossip and spread rumours about their organisation, managers and employees they don’t like. Sometimes they run to the manager and start talking behind their co-workers. Meanwhile all the say is lies. They demarket their organisation and fabricate lies just to discredit their co-worker before the manager. It is high time managers stopped listening to such employees because they are rumour factory.
  2. If management are nonchalant about providing tools for employees to do their jobs, it means management has plans to fail and they will fail very well. Productivity will be low, workers will be owed salaries and the organisation will face dozens of litigations and lose her reputation. How about that? When such happens management will be in jeopardy and the organisation will be the chief loser.
  3. No employee like to work in a company where there is no job security. Queries and incessant sacks and threat of sack are psychological weapons out of favour of the employees. Such instrument of threat demotivates and encourages bad attitudes at workplace. It discourages employees’ commitment to the job because they believe it may soon be their turn to go. So, they begin to have consideration for consequences and they start looking for another job and where to pitch their tent in case they are sacked. When a married man is sacked from his job, in no time he automatically feels inadequate and loses his talking power at home and for the bachelor he keeps unmarried women at arms-length because he thinks they will soon ask him for money. Due to the threat or perceived threat of sack, some employees pretend to be loyal and only work when the manager is around while quantity, quality and productivity suffer.
  • It is part of the responsibility of management to ensure that employees are given safety instructions to enable them do their jobs safely. Toolbox keep unsafe acts and unsafe conditions in check. Where these are lacking, accidents happen often. The cost of managing accidents are enormous - wastage of company’s precious working time and money.


Motivated workers, especially those with positive attitudes are so important to organisation. Just like one rotten mango, a demotivated employee and those with bad attitudes can have negative effect on the entire organisation. Thus, it is important to identify the reasons/causes of employee demotivation and bad attitudes and quickly find solutions to have a pulsating workforce and a happy and productive organisation.


Ejirefe Influence is the Coordinator, School of post graduate studies, Salem University and Salem Business School Lokoja, 08158852101, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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