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17 February 2016

8 Ways How Not To Motivate Your Employees At Work

How to bring out your employee’s inner motivation to succeed is fundamental to the security and success of any business.

We all challenge ourselves to improve our individual colleague relationships as well as creating a harmonious environment for our teams to thrive.

Enclosed is a selection of demotivating tactics that all companies should try to rid from their corporate DNA.

1. Adults will always be adults
Salary-earning employees have real life responsibilities beyond the work environment. Therefore, always treat people with equal respect no matter how senior or junior they are; chances are that they will either directly or indirectly shape your personal performance. Your tone and manner is always under scrutiny.

2. Negative pressure tactics
Pressurised and negative short-termed analysis of an employee’s performance; daily or even weekly reviews, will more often than not lead to self-doubt and limit one’s talents. Learn to establish a culture of optimistic urgency over negative questioning. From experience, people tend to respond better to positive messaging but naturally this doesn’t mean a free licence for consistently underperforming colleagues.

3. No one is superior to others
There are clearly individual development schemes applied to different employees but fundamentally there is an equal application of standards. Even if you don’t see eye-to-eye with certain individuals that is no reason to overplay minor discretions against potentially more major concerns with “preferred” colleagues. When there isn’t a consistent application of procedures then people begin to doubt the structure they are part of which has a knock-on effect on performance.

4. Limiting senior influences
Presenting new ideas in public to your colleagues or boss can be a nerve-wracking experience. It takes courage to challenge the perceived ‘this-is-how-we-do-it’ routine. Thereby, even if it is the most convenient way to deal with an idea around your day-to-day work, never dismiss the intent or idea out of hand. The banal “we’ll see” or “let me think about it” quip causes nothing but deflated or even exasperated employees. Put the time aside and treat your employee with respect by following up.

5. Shifting goalposts of responsibility
People like to know where they stand and if/how they can influence directions if encouraged to participate in any commercial decision-making process. Don’t over-promise on your employee’s voice being critical or crucial to a decision where ultimately you as the boss will never forfeit control. This will ultimately encourage apathy and a “here-we-go-again” mentality.

6. Dominating meeting discussions
Even if you are the boss of a team that is still no excuse to always control/dictate meetings. Setting the agenda is important but you will be amazed at how motivated your colleagues can be if you entrust them to lead a talk or presentation around the topic where you as leader are unsure to the best position. If you provide them with enough time and flexibility with a suitable incentive to present a key piece of work, rather than just adding to their workload, then the knock-on effects can be empowering.

7. Unattainable goals
Any target that is created by top brass in a business should be consulted with the accountable team at large. It is all well and good having a deadline or project to achieve but this relies on buy-in from the employees looking to bring this idea to life. How can a team be motivated to perform if they believe from the off that the goal is unattainable?

8. Transparent reward setting
If you set your colleagues a target to achieve with an incentive to hit that goal then ensuring visibility of progress is key. Trying to underplay results midway through a target in an attempt to spur on your colleagues just breeds distrust and suspicion. The danger then becomes what else your colleague believes is being misrepresented across other aspects of their professional relationship with yourself – do you really value my performance? Do you really think what I said was relevant? Honesty is always the best policy.


For ways to motivate your employees that have proven to work, why not view our incentive travel page or contact us below.
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Written By Tom