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The Top 17 Challenges that Managers Face When Attempting to Motivate Employees

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The Top 17 Challenges that Managers Face When Attempting to Motivate Employees
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The Top 17 Challenges that Managers Face When Attempting to Motivate Employees

In order to be successful in business, it’s important for managers to be able to motivate their employees. However, this is easier said than done, as managers face a variety of challenges when trying to motivate their teams.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top 17 problems managers face when attempting to motivate employees today. We’ll also offer some tips on how to overcome these challenges. So, if you’re looking for ways to boost your team’s motivation levels, read on!

Top 17 problems managers face

  1. Finding dependable talent
  2. Employee turnover
  3. Change in job descriptions
  4. Uncertainty in future
  5. Tracking team productivity
  6. Training
  7. Motivating employees
  8. Challenge your employees without overwhelming them
  9. Empowerment in problem-solving
  10. Feeling undervalued and insecure
  11. Focusing on the negative
  12. Unavailable team members
  13. Toxic team members
  14. Dealing with different generations
  15. Team meetings
  16. Remote work
  17. Lack of trust

Finding dependable talent

1. Finding dependable talent

Hiring is a challenge for every manager. You need to find the right person with the right skills, experience, and personality fit. It’s hard enough finding one person who checks all those boxes, but it can be even harder when you have multiple openings that need filling.

The problem is that most employees are looking for something more than just a paycheck. They’re looking for an opportunity to grow their skills and learn new things every day. Unfortunately, many companies don’t offer these opportunities, which means they lose talented employees who leave soon after training is complete.

So, how do you attract top talent without breaking the bank?

You can do a couple of things to attract the employees you need. Start by removing the obstacles that are keeping top workers from applying for your open positions.

For example, if there’s a bottleneck in your hiring process, make sure to streamline it so candidates don’t have to wait around to be considered.

Also, consider establishing an employee referral program so that current employees can refer potential candidates that they know would be a good fit.

If you want to attract top talent, it’s important to make sure your employees are engaged and happy so let them get involved in the recruitment process.

Employee turnover

2. Employee turnover

There are a lot of reasons why people leave their jobs, from the company culture to low pay. But no matter what the reason is, it’s expensive to replace employees — especially talented workers. So how do you hold on to top talent?

It starts with creating a company culture where your employees want to stay and grow. That means providing opportunities for career advancement, challenging work, and clear expectations so everyone knows what’s expected of them. You also need to ensure your pay is competitive and fair, and that you treat your employees with respect.

Finally, make sure you have a plan for growth within the company since talented employees feel most engaged when they’re learning new skills.

3. Change in job descriptions

It’s incredibly difficult to manage employees when the job description keeps changing. This can be extremely challenging.

Too much change can create mixed messages for your employees who might be unclear about the task you want them to complete. This is frustrating for employees and it can take up a lot of your time as people keep coming back to you for direction on what they should be working on.

So what should you do?

The best thing you can do is stay ahead of the curve and present a clear plan for how your team will respond to these changes. Sit down with your employees and create a system for communicating where they stand in the company at all times. This way, everyone knows what’s expected of them and what the end goal looks like.

Uncertainty in the future

4. Uncertainty in the future

As a manager, you know that uncertainty can make it hard to get your team motivated and working at their best.

We all know that the future is unpredictable. So how can you motivate your team when there are no guarantees about what happens next?

The key is to explain exactly what your team needs to accomplish today, to create the best possible tomorrow. That means discussing with them how day-to-day tasks lead to long-term goals, and why they must keep moving forward even when there are no guarantees about what happens down the line. Reassure your employees that their hard work will pay off in the long run.

5. Tracking team productivity

As a manager, it can be hard to track your team’s productivity, because you have to juggle so many different responsibilities. You need an easy way to ensure that everyone is doing their part and contributing as much as they possibly can.

The easiest way to do that is by implementing a software solution like Teamly. Teamly provides a feature that allows you to monitor the progress of your staff while also providing them with a clear route to achieve outstanding results.

Teamly is designed with managers in mind so it can help you share important information about company goals and key metrics, which your employees can check at any time so everyone is on the same page. You can also set up check-ins to ensure everyone is on the same page and making progress.

It’s such a powerful way for managers to keep their team motivated and moving in the right direction.


6. Training

As a manager, you know how important it is to train new employees. You want them to be productive as soon as possible so that the company can make money and grow.

But training takes time, especially if your team has never worked together before or if they’re coming from different companies with different methods of working. It’s hard for managers because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to training an employee.

Every company is different and it’s important to find the right training solution for your specific company. But in general, the best solution is to prioritize training for new employees.

Give them access to the tools they need so they can get up to speed quickly and implement new ideas on the fly. Since every new hire is different, you have to address their unique needs with custom training sessions.

This way, they’ll be ready to take on their responsibilities right away instead of making major mistakes that will take you and your team more time to correct.

7. Motivating employees

It’s hard to motivate people. Even if you have a clear vision of what needs to be done and how it should be accomplished, getting your team members on board can be challenging.

One reason is that motivation doesn’t come from the top-down; it comes from within. People need to feel inspired by their work for them to put forth an effort, which means that managers need to know how best to inspire those under them.

In short, the key is to address the individual needs of each member of your team.

Instead of treating everyone like they’re interchangeable parts, make sure you understand what motivates different types of people and how best to communicate with them. The best managers are ones who know their employees as individuals, which means knowing how to motivate each person properly.

8. Challenge your employees without overwhelming them

As a manager, you have to be able to motivate your team without being too pushy.

The best managers know how hard it is to strike the balance between challenging employees and overwhelming them with tasks.

It’s easy for new bosses or those attempting to modify their management style to jump from one end of the spectrum, where they micromanage every aspect of an employee’s workday, to the other, where they don’t push their team and simply let them do whatever they want. Neither approach is ideal.

The best managers know how to walk the line and give their employees enough guidance without taking over for them. When you micromanage, you take away a lot of your team members’ autonomy which can make them resentful and less likely to go above and beyond for the company.

But when you don’t give them enough guidance, there’s a very real chance they will make mistakes and fall behind. So it’s important to give your team members the right amount of challenge without overwhelming them with too much work.

For example, try breaking down tasks into smaller pieces so that employees don’t feel overwhelmed by everything on their plate. This way they’ll be able to accomplish more and feel good about their accomplishments.

Empowerment in problem-solving

9. Empowerment in problem-solving

As a manager, it’s never easy to give up control.

It’s your nature to solve all of the problems that come your way since you have more experience than everybody else. Plus, it feels good to be the one who comes up with solutions for other people’s problems because you feel useful and appreciated.

But this is the opposite of empowerment, which is all about giving up control.

It’s important to let go of your need to come up with every solution and instead empower the other people on your team by giving them the tools they need to solve problems themselves. This will not only make them more engaged in their work, but it will also help you be seen as a manager who is capable of leading their team to success.

10. Feeling undervalued and insecure

Your employees have egos. They need to feel appreciated and valued for their contributions to be motivated to stick around. If they don’t feel valued, there’s a good chance they’ll leave the company which will put your team behind in terms of productivity levels.

This is one reason why you must communicate with your team. When you don’t give feedback, employees start to feel insecure and undervalued.

So it’s important to be proactive about your communication so that your employees feel confident in their work and don’t have to worry about being under-appreciated. It’s easy for managers to get caught up in all of the daily tasks on their plate without giving any thought to how their employees are feeling, but this is one way you can lose motivated competent staff.

The best way to communicate with your team is to take into account what they value and how you can deliver it in a way that will make them feel valued.

11. Focusing on the negative

Team members who are fixating on the negative can be a real drag. Not only do they ruin the office morale, but their pessimistic attitudes can also start rubbing off on other team members. You don’t want to discourage your employees from being open and honest about their feelings, but there is a difference between venting and constantly complaining.

While it’s important to let team members know that you’re listening, it’s even more important for them to understand that it’s more productive to focus on the positive.

Your team members don’t want to hear why something won’t work or about all of the flaws in an idea. Instead, they want to hear how you will make things happen and how you’re going to solve problems together.

So balance out your team member’s negativity by showing them what you’re planning to do and how it will benefit everyone.

Unavailable team members

12. Unavailable team members

Have you ever had this happen to you? You send a message to your team member and never hear back. This can be incredibly frustrating because you won’t know if they’ve received your message or if they’re ignoring you.

Unfortunately, it happens often in the workplace, so it’s important for managers to keep in mind how to prepare your team for what the expectations are, in terms of their response time.

This can easily be executed on the front end of your employees’ orientation by communicating with them about how quickly you expect to hear back from them and what is an acceptable amount of time.

What happens if they don’t meet the expectations that were set up at the beginning? This can lead to a number of different problems and frustrations on both ends, which is why it’s important to establish response times right away.

It’s also a good idea to avoid waiting until there is a problem before you address it. Confronting it quickly and transparently will make your employees feel respected, which could prevent them from feeling undervalued in the future.

Toxic team members

13. Toxic team members

It can be hard to pinpoint who’s affecting your team’s morale, but it’s important that you address the problem immediately. Toxic team members can lead to a number of problems, such as decreased productivity and emotional burn out in the rest of your team.

It’s important to confront toxic team members because their negative attitudes can spread like wildfire if you don’t actively try to prevent it from happening. It’s almost impossible to address this without having an open conversation with them, so coming up with a solution to the problem is important.

If they don’t think their attitude can change, you may need to make a tough decision and let them go. It’s not easy doing this because you want to do everything in your power to help team members grow and succeed. That’s why it’s important for managers to have open communication with their team members in the beginning so they can help them succeed. However, if your toxic team member is not willing to work on their attitude, this might be your only choice.

14. Dealing with different generations

Bridging the gap between different generations in the workplace is an ongoing challenge for managers. Not only do you need to be aware of how each generation interacts with your team, but you also need to be able to adapt and change in order to keep everyone engaged and productive.

Generational differences will always exist in the workplace, that’s why it’s so important for managers to pay attention to the working styles of each generation.

For example, if you have a Millennial team member who doesn’t want to communicate regularly in person with their manager, this might cause a problem. Millennials are known for wanting more flexibility and independence than other generations because they value working on teams and love collaborating.

If you want to make sure you are providing this for them, it might be a good idea to meet up with them in person once a week.

As managers, we need to roll with the punches, even when there are generational differences present in our teams. The key is not to fight them but rather adapt and learn how to work with them in a productive manner instead.

Team meetings

15. Team meetings

Meetings can make or break a team’s productivity. If your meetings lack purpose, it’s likely that you will lose your employee’s attention and they will disengage.

However, if you make sure your meetings have goals and intention, your employees will most likely stay focused and engaged.

Additionally, try to avoid going too long with your meetings. People have a limited attention span and if you keep them in a meeting for too long, they will start checking their emails or even daydreaming.

Also, try to keep everyone on the same page and avoid going over old information again and again. If you do this, you are wasting time and your attention span will be limited even more. Go around the room to make sure everyone is on the same page instead.

Keep in mind, if your team members feel like they are unable to contribute during meetings, it might be a good idea to let them send their input through email instead. This can give them time to think about what they want to say before adding their opinion, making it more detailed and thorough.

Having meetings with your team is an incredibly important part of being a manager because it builds trust by creating consistency.

Remember that running a meeting isn’t an easy task – it takes preparation, creativity and patience. If you plan your meetings in advance, make sure the goals are clear and concise.

How often should you have meetings with your employees? It depends on what you’re discussing and how often, but it’s always a good idea to meet with your employees once or twice a month.

This can help keep everyone motivated and on the right track when it comes to their work, which is why you need to take this responsibility seriously.

Remote work

16. Remote work

Remote work can be a great way for employees to have a flexible schedule and work from home. However, it isn’t always as successful as you might imagine.

If your team member is planning on working from home every day, you need to make sure they have space and time to do so. The last thing you want is for them to have a bad work-life balance because they are trying to fit too much into their day.

You also need to make sure they have the technology required to do their job from home, such as a computer and internet connection.

Additionally, you might not be able to trust them if they aren’t in the office with you. You don’t want them to slack off or not come in when they are needed.

It’s important to create specific goals for your remote employees and make sure they are aware of what you expect from them while they work remotely. You can even schedule weekly meetings if necessary.

Remote workers might be the future of the workplace, but it is crucial that managers make sure they are meeting their expectations.

17. Lack of trust

Trust is the foundation of any relationship and as a manager trust is your currency. If your team doesn’t trust you, it’s hard to get anything done.

There are a few ways you can build trust with your employees. One of the most effective ways is to create a transparent team culture. If your employees know what the goals of your company are and that you have their best interests in mind, they will be more likely to trust you.

In order to do this, let them know how the different parts of the company work together and show them how their role contributes to the bigger picture.

Additionally, never gossip with your employees. If you have to talk about someone, keep it professional and private. Gossiping can result in a lot of problems for you and your team, so try to avoid it at all costs.

Another way to build trust with your employees is by being transparent when making changes in the company.

If there are any plans to change the structure of the company, be open with your team about them. They need to know what’s happening so they can adjust accordingly and continue doing their best work.


As a manager, you face challenges every day. Knowing what to expect and how to address it is the first step toward being prepared. With information and a plan of action in today’s business climate, overcoming uncertainty with facts and a plan of action is critical. Hopefully, this post will help you acquire confidence in your abilities to tackle these problems.


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