Sometimes it seems impossible to motivate your staff to do the job that they are supposed to do. It seems simple to you, so why can’t they understand just how important it is for them to give it their best? You’ve tried yelling and screaming and that just seemed to make it worse… Because it does! The staff turnover is high, they keep leaving and new ones need to be trained constantly, what are you doing wrong?
The first thing to remember is:
“People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers”.
Are you too Controlling?
Creating unnecessary rules that don’t actually benefit the company can cause the employees to believe that the workplace is an unfair environment. These unnecessary rules can include;
- restrictive hours,
- vacation policies
- Internet usage.
Rigid control, negativity and a climate of anxiety does the very opposite of motivate your staff. It does drive fear, but not in a good way. Insisting that an employee work on a Sunday that they have requested off – when the employee isn’t even needed, will cause them to think their freedom is nonexistent, and will result in them looking for work which doesn’t require them to dedicate their days off. Doing this will show your authority, certainly! But it will not make the employees happy to be working for you.
The reasons in which a manager fires a staff member are also very important. If they are fired over not showing up to work due to a family emergency or something out of their control, it is unfair and the other current employees will feel like they are being controlled by the devil.
Do You Trust Your Staff?
Do you trust them to work while you are not around? Do you trust them to do the job that’s required of them without you checking up on them every hour? If the answer to one or both of those questions is no, then ask yourself, why? Maybe you believe they are incompetent. If you won’t trust your employees to do their jobs and you’re constantly breathing down their necks, then the employees will likely feel offended and unworthy. Some employees do need a bit of guidance, understandably. But if you need be breathing down their neck sometimes, at least be helpful about it… and your breath first! If there is no evidence of slacking then there is no reason to assume that your staff members are not doing their job, give them a little patience, and a little trust and you might find excellent results. Don’t be a micromanager!
When to Discipline, And When Not To:
Companies that don’t deal with performance issues will develop a team of workers that are unmotivated and who misbehave. Staff members who achieve mediocre results due to mediocre work should not be treated the same as staff who are strong performers and constantly aim high. This just encourages mediocre work from all employees. Managers who don’t recognize good work will find no good work being done.
If conflict in a workplace is constantly avoided there will never be resolutions and more conflict will arise, this will create a negative attitude from the staff members causing them to be demotivated from their work. A list of rules needs to be put in place to ensure that there are guidelines and authority is order. Some employees will push the boundaries to see how much they can get away with, while staff who do follow the rules will not be able to work in that environment. If there are no rewards for good behavior, then employees will feel like they are constantly trying to impress with no result.
Communication – Know what you’re talkin’ ‘bout!
Communication is very important in a workplace:
-Unclear communication can lead to rumors and lies.
-Lack of communication always causes problems in a workplace, for example, if a manager told an employee to complete a task- but did not trust them to do so, and then tells another employee to do the same task -that is not only causing one of the employees to do unnecessary work, it is a waste of time and resources. This type of communication causes chaos.
Communication issues can also cause demotivation if a task is outlined to an employee either incorrectly, or without the necessary information required to complete the task. The employee will then struggle with the work when they wouldn’t otherwise have to if it was communicated correctly.
What Type of Work Is Causing Your Staff to Be Unnecessarily Demotivated?
Do you take advantage of your employees because they are beneath you? Some managers will insist that their employees arrive early to their workplace as well as stay late (often for no reason) without paying them. Despite legalities, it will cause the staff members to have a negative approach to their work. They will feel taken advantage of.
Hiring more staff when current staff need more hours is not only insulting but it will make the current employees think they are not going to get enough hours in the future and be more likely to search out another job. If you give them the hours the deserve, they will respect you and work hard to keep those hours. They have to be given a chance! If their hours are cut back for no reason (or a reason such as hiring new staff) this will be a great cause of demotivation for the employees. On the other hand, if new staff is hired but the hours are not being cut back for the current employees, there might be too much staff and not enough work. If there is not enough work to do, staff become bored and time goes by very slowly. Bored employees are demotivated employees!
Finally; don’t give your employees unreasonable demands. Make sure that the task you assign them can actually be executed. Staff are not machines, they are humans.
Acting in a Professional Manner
If you would like your employees to act professionally, then you need to do so yourself. Hypocritical managers never get far! Managers need to set an example for the rest of the team, who else are they going to look to for guidance? It’s you! Their manager! While as a manager you are supposed to be overlooking the team and giving instructions, you are not a dictator. You must also chip in and do work as well. If you are not helpful and all you do is give orders, your employees will not respect you. It’s simply called being bossy.
One of the most aggravating, unprofessional things that a manager can do is to show favoritism towards some employees, and treat other employees differently because of personal reasons. Base all your decisions on – who does the most work, gets the most reward. Not who you are closest to personally. Be professional!