Let’s imagine you (for whatever reason) want to demotivate, ruin and demoralize your employees. We don’t know why you might need this list, and the best thing would probably be to do the exact opposite of the outlined suggestions.

Reject all your team’s ideas

Nobody likes it when their idea is ignored or rejected, especially when it happens in a creative team. It’s practically creative suicide, to say the least. That’s why it’s important to hear your colleagues, even if your opinion is the complete opposite of theirs. Listen to what they have to say, especially feedback and creative ideas.

Even if their point is different from yours, give them a chance. Listen to your employees; maybe there is wisdom in their words. If there isn’t, don’t be rude; just explain why their approach is not suited to the current situation.

There is no vision

If you don’t have a vision for your company, how can you expect your employees to have one? The best way to motivate your colleagues is to give them a compelling image of what you do as a whole – the brand and the future.

If there isn’t any, should we really continue this talk? There can’t be any motivation whatsoever.

You don’t give them privacy and independence

Mentorship is good, especially for those who really need it, such as interns or new employees. The lack of strong leadership ruins the prospect of a strong, creative team – there’s no denying that. But there is always a fine line separating healthy mentorship from paranoia. It’s not always clear, but be careful not to cross it.

And it’s not just about giving them personal space; regular meetings, whether for a specific reason or not, are not the best way to inspire your team. Trust them! You’re wasting time, effort and resources on empty worries.

Never help your team

That’s another corner you should be aware of: the negative aspect of the previous point. As the leader of these people, you should give them space, but keep it healthy. There is only one step from obsessive care to ignoring your team.

Well, you have the right to be not as smart as your team at what they do, but at least try to show them that you care. It works – we promise.

Threaten them

Do you want to see resignation forms on your desk anytime soon? Good, because there is one guaranteed way to reach achieve this: threats.

Tell your team that you’ll cut salaries, force them to work on weekends, and verbally or physically (God help you!) abuse them. Criticize them without reason, instill heavy discipline and set strict rules – that will keep your employees demotivated long term.

But, you got it, never do these things.

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Give them responsibility

If you are a leader of any form, denying responsibility for actions you have taken is not the best way to motivate your team. You’ll do nothing more than instill fear and distrust among colleagues, and that’s not something you really want to achieve, is it?

Be a leader in the true sense of the word – have skills, have passion, and have the ability to accept criticism. None of us are perfect, so help some of your employees to overcome that.

Remove room for development

One of the things that keeps many employees coming in every day to the workplace is the opportunity to grow within the company (and get a paycheck so they don’t starve to death, of course). And it’s not just about crazy pay or sky-high promotions (they can do the trick, though); it’s about personal achievement and proving to yourself that you’re worth something.

There’s nothing complicated about achieving this, though: Invite some trainers in, and set up some language courses and study time. The best way to motivate employees this way is to invite speakers and guests in for training or talks. Employees will appreciate this and feel they are growing with the company.

Make impossible demands

Okay, Boss, we know you like that star in Andromeda, but you can’t have it. Some things are impossible to achieve no matter how hard you try.

Just like that design you were asked to do in twelve hours that should take no less than four days, some demands are ruthless toward the employee. Draw a borderline of healthy requests for yourself, so you can make understandable requests.

Once employees realize they won’t be able to get something done, they’ll think, “What’s the point? I’m going to fail.” Provide goals and deadlines that are challenging, but not impossible.


Be a good leader; be the one who inspires other people. That’s the only way to go!

Image credits: Shutterstock