56% of Employees Believe Their Managers Can’t Motivate Them

Managers Cannot Motivate Employees

A whopping 56% of your employees don’t believe you or the managers that work in your company are able to motivate them. This is the finding of a new report by Ultimate Software, a provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions in the cloud.

The report surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. employees and revealed a clear message to employers, that managers and employees aren’t always on the same page when it comes to their relationships.

Managers Cannot Motivate Employees

The survey found 71% of managers say they know how to motivate their teams, which contrasts to only 44% of employees who agree that their managers know how to motivate them.

Adam Rogers, Ultimate Software’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), told Small Business Trends that employee motivation is a crucial aspect of workplace success.

“While certain motivating factors can vary from employee to employee, we do know that the employee-manager relationship is the top driver of employee satisfaction,” said Rogers.

Ultimate Software’s CTO spoke of the specific qualities employees look for when evaluating managers.

“Respondents said having a manager who’s approachable is more important than one who acts like a coach,” Rogers commented.

Without qualities such as being friendly and approachable, you or your company’s managers may be causing a rift between your employees.

The findings of Ultimate Software’s survey also suggest, as Rogers says, “motivation is more likely to come from a personal, trusting relationship than from a playbook.”

Investing in the tools and training that help managers build relationships with employees could be a vital move for business owners to help create a happier, more productive environment to work in.

The survey also found that 43% of employees consider ideal communication with their manager includes being asked to contribute to decision-making and strategy meetings. In the wake of this response, Adam Rogers advises employers and their managers to:

“Consider redesigning meetings so all employees feel empowered to speak up, and using tools like open-ended surveys to actively seek feedback and show employees you’re listening,” Rogers says.

Having quality working relationships between yourself and employees and your managers and employees is vital in building company success. As Ultimate Software’s survey demonstrates, it would be well worth the time and investment designed to build greater trust and better relationships between management and employees.

Photo via Shutterstock


Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

3 Reactions
  1. The question is, what percentage of managers CAN actually motivate their employees? Since most managers are promoted because they did their previous job well (and not based on ability to motivate) I would guess that many managers aren’t equipped to succeed in motivation unless they’re trained.

  2. Being self employed now this article makes me realize just how much I hated working for someone else. The drama, the bs, the idiot that got promoted simply because he had a “college” degree, who cares if it was for something completely irrelevant to the job or industry he is in, yeah, sure do miss it.

  3. 100% of managers can’t motivate their workers. They may be able to drive at least temporary behavior change, but not motivation. What managers can do is create an environment that helps their team members realize their own individual motivational needs. That’s where relationships come in. Leaders must strive to understand what individual motivational needs are and provide an environment for team members to achieve those needs. Only then will an individual team member begin to be motivated. Motivation can be encouraged but it cannot be given.