4 Things that Managers are doing Wrong in Motivating Employees

Fear ManagementYou are a manager. You have a deadline. You have a goal that your department must reach urgently. You are under pressure by your bosses. But it's as if your employees just don’t seem to understand all of that.
But maybe it’s not your employees who don’t get it—take a hard look at your own management style. You respond to the dire situation by calling them into a meeting to tell them "you need to get it together, or else.” You insult their work when it falls short and only speak to them when you want to give negative feedback, never focusing on the positive things that they are doing.
As the manager, it is time you take responsibility for the current failings of your department. Taking full responsibility is the first step to turning things around. Once you do this, you can then start to analyze what you may be doing wrong that is impeding progress.

Fear Tactics

Fear tactics sometimes work on consumers, but they usually have little to no effect on employees. You may think that threatening employees with their jobs, a demotion or some other setback will motivate them to improve, but what it actually does is give them a negative overall perspective about the job (and you in particular). They start to resent and dislike you and the job. Even if they do have a slight uptick in their performance in the short term, the quality of their work will likely suffer and they will leave the company as soon as another opportunity presents itself. So if you use fear tactics to manage your people, don't be surprised when your turnover rates start to soar and production stays about the same.

Ignoring Their Needs

Workers are people—they experience personal life challenges just like you do. You just don’t ever really know what your employee may be going through at home that could be affecting his mindset at work.
Be more understanding of your workers and tell them so. This doesn't mean you have to be a pushover and allow an employee to slack forever. A little dose of caring and understanding is all that you need. Pull a worker aside who you believe has started to change for the worse and give him a positive word of affirmation. Tell him how much he is of value to the company. Tell him that if there is something going on and he needs help, Human Resources can refer him to a counselor for support. This understanding attitude helps to develop a positive atmosphere for your employees, which is what they need to be more productive in the long run.

Failing to Train Them Properly

If your employees aren't up to par at their jobs, it's usually not their fault. It's your fault for not properly training them. If you gave them little to no training before setting them to work, how can you expect them to be superstars in a matter of weeks? They can be awesome workers but it is up to you to invest your time and every possible resource in training them to do a better or faster job. If they have the core skills and talents, intensive training is usually all they need to get the job done more efficiently.

Holding Back on Incentives

Too many managers hold back on offering incentive programs to employees because they think that it will be too expensive. But giving incentives is far from expensive when you consider the benefits in terms of high productivity and quality of their work. Even if this looks contradictory to a trending concept (read “Is money still a motivation?”), employees are motivated by money—that is why they show up to work every day. Implement a monetary-based incentive plan to boost performance.
Start off small—offer your employees a small cash bonus or gift card when they successfully complete a performance metric. Once you see the benefits of this small gesture you can scale up the program to get even better results from them.

Remember that you are solely responsible for the productivity of your department. Let go of the negative tactics that you currently employ and inject some positivity into your workforce starting today.


Opened by Antoine Fournier, Head of ECM, Input and Output management, Zurich Insurance
Sep 27, 2013.

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Jesse Domingo Leadership Adviser, Strategist
Oct 12, 2013

recommanded this answer

You could add this to the list - Continuously provide a "healthy working environment."

Leaders not only has to make sure his people are free from politicking or at least minimize it to almost nil; but more so, they should support and empower them while cultivating an atmosphere of cooperation and brotherhood to get things done not just fast but towards breakthroughs.

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Jesse Domingo 24 Jesse Domingo Leadership Adviser, Strategist

Oct 12, 2013

This list addition, this comment is about how to make things better.