Some things are expensive to businesses when managers and companies destroy morale. An issue with a Demotivated employee is generally underperformance and attrition.
Lack of motivation is common, and research shows this is a serious problem with almost 72% of the workforce is not engaged or motivated. Most of the time the leaders or managers are blamed, however, it is a collective approach, and much deeper than one point of blame.
How do you motivate your employees?
We all know demotivation does not happen on purpose, the primary reasons are the actions taken without thinking, and this generally kills the spirit of the employees.
When the encouragement systems are set up properly and executed, they act as a great means to motivate the performers and build super-performing teams.
Most often not great plans fail, and that causes bigger distress, discontentment, and attrition, the key is to identify the key motivators, start simple, and then gradually increase the scope while recording and correcting failures.
Read on to understand and avoid some of the pitfalls, in this three-part series I will be covering some of the behaviors that demotivate performers and undermine recognition and rewards programs.
1) Do not celebrate small wins
A simple pat on the back, especially with top performers works wonders. All of us like small praises, it is very important to those who work hard and go above and beyond to solve everyday problems.
Recognizing individual accomplishments demonstrates that the seniors and company are paying attention, and keep an open communication channel with employees to find out what motivates them, for most, it is simple praise. It’s a manager’s role to assess, understand and meet different motivational needs.
Regularized 1:1 discussion helps to chalk out these issues.
2) Don’t encourage development and offer opportunities for growth
More often than not we assign the same tasks and responsibilities to our employees if there is a lack of challenges and learning opportunities that negatively affect our teams.
Managers have to understand that continued learning opportunities for the team members are the only way to keep them current and motivated, ignorance of this fact is not only dangerous to the team but also to the Business and the Organization.
Good performers generally want to stay ahead, and advance their careers and will really appreciate encouragement and support in the process.
Organizations should have a good training plan and also provide team members to train others so that they feel responsible for uplifting the team.
Assign additional projects when possible and increasing responsibility to the performers will help to improve motivation, and regular workshops and online learning programs increase the skill.
3) Hire and promote the wrong people
It is very demotivating when wrong team members are hired, and to make matters work if a wrong person is promoted total demotivation sets in.
As per the survey, 95% of financial executives surveyed indicated a bad hire affects the morale of the team.
When you go above and beyond and someone undeserving team member gets promoted it not only kills the more but it is also an insult to the one who deserved it. Good, hard-working employees want to work with like-minded professionals.
Always look at strong members of the team and hire like-minded team members who can work together, it is not just hiring the top scorer in a test, while the technical skills are important, team skills should carry equal importance, remember if you hire a wrong employee who cannot work well with others you are creating an imbalance in a harmonious team. Implement systems to ensure hiring only the right fit for your organization’s culture and work style.
Motivated teams are those teams that are empowered. When it comes to motivating your top performers, there are multiple factors to keep in mind, right from clarity in communication to the overall positive environment which fosters employee aspirations, an open and respectful culture, balanced workplace. Organizations that understand this early tend to thrive.
Read on to get a much broader view of factors that affect motivation and performance.
4) Confused Expectations
Expectation management is a very important factor, usually, managers/leaders don’t set clear expectations with their teams and set the right performance indicators, this directly results in a lack of clarity among the team member and results in poor results. Team members fail to differentiate between Important vs unimportant tasks as all tasks are automatically taken as priority, they will fail to recognize priorities and eventually become indifferent to tasks assigned. Sense of accomplishment gradually decreases as there are no clear goals communicated and demotivation sets in.
Performers in general are aware of the environment they are in and want to clearly understand what is expected of them. The general expectation is their managers and leaders are aware of the environment and know their achievements and accomplishments.
Managers/Leaders should be crystal clear about performance, and their expectations from the team members, set crystal clear goals and communicate them, clearly define expectations, and should be able to provide objective measurable feedback.
Another part of communication is the ability to handle feedback received in a very objective and neutral manner. If the messaging is clear and consistent across the organizational level then it creates an environment for the performers to feel belonged.
Managers/leaders should set up a regular periodic discussion to ensure the feedback loop is open and the expectations are communicated and measured in a timely manner.
5) Adjust with poor performance
When an organization starts adjusting to poor performance, the benchmark goes down, this will also pull down the top performers. Even a small hole is enough to sink the ship, likewise, a poor performer regardless of the level of role he/she plays in the team will pull down the entire team, this will result in failure of getting desired results, top performers are also demotivated as the team fails.
For successful performance management and a performing team, it is very important that the environment supports a proper feedback loop, clear performance indicators, and tools which help ongoing improvement in the system.
Honest and objective feedback mechanisms and intolerance to process deviations go a long way in reducing non-performance and motivating top performers as the achievements are tracked and communicated.
The longer negative performance is tolerated, the more difficult a solution becomes, and this not only affects the performers but also there are severe implications in the long term, including the credibility of the leadership as well.
Micromanagement only works in a school as children are still in a learning phase and not in Organizations, It is impossible to take ownership, and focus on productivity when your boss is always leaning over you, and Tracking your every move like an invigilator.
When Managers/leaders demand approval for all assignments, teams are often left waiting for approvals on multiple projects and assignments, and often start scrambling to meet unrealistic timelines.
Micromanagement demotivates high performers who have the ability to think creatively and work independently. It also results in attrition and a team full of average performers.
In the current times, Micromanagement is Obsolete, the focus should be on empowering employees. Managers and Companies should focus on an employee-centric culture, team-centric culture, developing leaders, develop and training potential leaders from within the teams.
Organizations/Managers should focus on treating individuals with trust, educate the employees on ownership, make them take responsibility, and ensure differences of opinions, suggestions, and inputs are treated fairly and due credit is provided if the organization receives values from such inputs.
General esat survey states that 93% of employees felt satisfied in their roles, and 90% of employees said they were motivated when the Managers trusted them with responsibilities.
The only sure way to motivate employees is to stop demotivating them.
We have seen how organisations can ensure that their performers are motivated, and how team attitudes affect situations they may face, particularly the input and output of a task. Similarly, the effects of a situation can be felt at work. Employees with the right attitude will contribute to the success of the Organisation. Negative attitudes are more likely to spread unhappiness and pessimism.
We've all seen positivity increase employee wellness. A positive outlook in the workplace is not only healthy but also leads to increased productivity. Employees who are motivated are generally more engaged and are great performers in their jobs.
When it comes to keeping your performers/teams motivated, there are a number of factors to keep in mind—from clearly communicating goals and expectations, and transference to showing interest in your employee's professional aspirations. The ideal approach determines the way to a well-balanced and positive workplace and ensures the success of the organizations
In conclusion, Acknowledge and recognize employees when they do something noteworthy; alternatively, provide constructive feedback when they do something incorrectly. Ensure that employees understand their responsibilities and have clear goals to work toward. Maintain consistency and fairness in all disciplinary procedures. Provide opportunities for skill, personal growth, and career advancement. Set a good example for your employees to follow. Finally, be the leaders your performers can look up to.
Raghavendra Bhat heads the Professional Services at Chimera Technologies.