5 Easy Ways to De-motivate Your Staff
By Wayne Mates
Make no mistake; the people who work with you everyday are vital to your success. These are the people you rely on to help you meet your company goals. Without them, there would be no success for you. It is always in your best interest to keep them motivated, to keep them productive. If you want to keep them that way, do not do any of the following:
- Set unrealistic expectations – This does not mean you can’t work with them to set challenging goals, goals that allow them to learn, grow and excel. Goals that allow them personal fulfillment are good challenges. What is not good is handing someone a list of objectives and goals for which they had no input. It is terrible you think so little of them that you need to dictate their objectives. Also, setting goals very high as to be unattainable creates an environment for de-motivation. People know what is doable and unless you have a whole new proven way of doing things, your employees are not going to buy in to your scheme.
- Waste their time – How many meetings, conference calls, reports are your employees attending or creating that add little or no value? How many people do you add to meetings or calls that are important just because you think they should be there? Reality may dictate that some of these folks are much better served by not attending. Maybe they can be productive instead. I have seen far too many “bosses” create unnecessary meetings and calls so they can pontificate to an audience. If you want to pontificate give your talk to your mirror, but don’t waste valuable time.
- Create constant fire drills – Take a look at the last several months of your activity. How many times have you sent out requests for information or reports where you need the information today? Every time you do that, your staff drops vital tasks to respond to your requests. By the time they finish acting upon your needs, they have forgotten what it was they were working on that was important. Oh, you say you need the information for an important client? Shouldn’t you develop the skills to set the appropriate expectation with that customer? They will respect you for it. Yes, there are occasions when a “fire drill” is necessary, but keep them to a minimum.
- Treat them as expendable resources –Especially in today’s economy, it is easy to look at unemployment numbers and conclude that you can replace anyone in the company. The truth is you probably could. But, the expense of training new people is high, not to mention the costs of recruiting new folks. I have had a senior manager state in a meeting that nothing needed to be done to keep staff incented because staff had no other options. What a load of BS. Your best staff always has options. If word gets out employees are expendable, you may be looking at losing your most highly skilled people.
- Don’t share the wealth – Want to keep your company in business and creating new ideas which can lead to more revenue and profit, create an incentive plan that rewards profitable ideas. Give people an opportunity to be creative AND to share in the profitability of an idea and you will have a multitude of new ideas to work with. Create an environment where people see you taking all the profit and living a rich life and they will not excel for you.
If you recognize yourself doing any of these things, it is time to stop and reassess how you manage your company. This goes not only for company owners but for management as well. Just take the last 6 months or a year, look at your actions and how they may have been detrimental to your success. Then, more importantly, promise yourself you will change how you manage your business.
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