Beat Discouragement

How to Beat Discouragement at Work

I’m sure you’ve seen it. Your typical happy employee comes into work with slumped shoulders and a forced smile on her face. You know instantly that something is wrong. The reasons why your typically stellar employee is feeling down today could be endless. Is it something from home or work? You may wonder, “How I can help this person?”

Discouragement hits everyone from time to time. Although you can’t do much about what happens at home, you can take proactive steps to prevent discouragement at work.

Today I will share the four ways we head off discouragement at Crystal D. First, we know our “why.” Second, we automate as many processes as possible. Third, we keep learning, and last we celebrate – big time.

We have used each of these strategies to propel us forward with positivity and make it harder for discouragement to set in at work.

Know The “Why”

First, our employees know the “why” behind what they do.

Likewise, your employees need to know their “why.” When they know why they need to do something or what goal they are chasing, they gain clarity. This clarity helps them prioritize what is important and what isn’t.

Ask yourself: do my employees know “why,” I want them to do this or that? If the answer is foggy, get clarity. Then communicate the “why” to your employees.

When employees don’t understand the “why” prioritizing is hard. They’ll do whatever the most urgent task of the day is while giving the truly important tasks a backseat. This creates a snowball effect, and when they realize they aren’t getting results, they will become discouraged. 

At Crystal D, our “why” starts with our core purpose and values. Then we address the individual “why” for each specific job.

If your workplace lacks a “why” or if you need to find your “why,” I recommend these two books by Simon Sinek.


Employees get discouraged at work when they have to do the same mundane task over and over.

Redundancy = discouragement.

So automate as many processes as you can to make things easier for your employees.

At Crystal D, we automate so that our employees spend most of their time doing important and engaging work.

Here are a few examples to consider:

  • Company-wide updates on computer screens
  • Electronic order tracking
  • Online project management
  • Database updates
  • Update emails to customers
  • Electronic documenting of email and text conversations
  • Computer tracking for employee training time
  • Automatic re-ordering stock when it is out

This is not an exhaustive list, but it illustrates how automation can be part of almost every arm of your business. This makes it easier for employees to engage in the meaningful part of their work.

What can you automate to make work easier for your employees?

Keep Learning

When your brain learns something new, you naturally wonder about what is coming next. This builds a sense of positive anticipation that leads to hopefulness and relieves discouragement.

How can you help your employees learn new things?

We use seminars, books, documentaries, and podcasts.

Our employees are encouraged to sign up for so they can listen to audio books. We share podcasts, create book clubs, and send employees to seminars.

Here are some of our favorites:


Last but not least, we recommend having a party. Acknowledging success and hard work with a party gives the brain a dose of hormones that allow it to feel relaxed and happy.

Celebrating kills discouragement. Your ammunition is delicious food, balloons, music, clapping, compliments, acknowledgements, and more good food.

Consider the ebb and flow of work in your business and create predictable times in the year to celebrate milestones. The timing of these events can accommodate your company culture. The key is to plan something predictable every 3-4 months.

We celebrate a lot around here! But we started with just two occasions: one in the summer and one in the winter. In time, the number of parties multiplied. Today we throw four big parties every year:

  • Summer: Years of Service Event and Golf Outing
  • Fall: Community Outreach Event
  • Winter: Employee Recognition Celebration
  • Spring: Outdoor BBQ

For more ideas on how to party at work, follow us on Facebook.

Discouragement happens, but it doesn’t need to take over. You can combat its negative effect by making work less difficult for your employees. Make sure employees know the “why” behind their work, automate as much as you can, keep learning, and celebrate as if your life depends on it.

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