Employee Motivation Begins By Not Driving Your Employees Nuts!

Most companies get it wrong when it comes to employee motivation. Rather than worrying about what it takes to motivate employees, they need to STOP demotivating them!  Most people, after all, are naturally motivated to do their best at work and contribute their ideas and passion. But far too often, employees lose that natural desire to be engaged because of the soul-sucking, spirit-crushing things leaders and organizations do, such as: 

  • Too many onerous rules that punish everyone for the actions of only a few blockheads. bigstock_A_Tired_Businessman_With_His_F_5758089
  • Too much paper work and bureaucracy.
  • Credit hogs: People taking credit for other people’s ideas.
  • Never asking employees or colleagues for their ideas or input.
  • Being micromanaged in a way that seems to suggest, “Sorry, we don’t really trust you to be alone.”
  • Leaders who speak using only buzzwords and meaningless jargon.
  • Gossiping gossipers and fun-sucking fun-suckers.
  • Office politics that makes House of Cards look like a comedy!

So what can you do? You’re right, probably nothing. (HA! This was a test to draw out the fun suckers! Did it work?) Okay…so there are no shortcuts or magic bullets. But there are a few things you can do:

1. Invest in leadership training so leaders understand the importance of removing “jobstacles” – those things that might prevent employees from doing their best possible work.
2. Invest in coaching training not just so leaders can coach employees, but so that employees can coach their leaders and offer positive feedback up the chain as well.
3. Be intentional about building a rocking great culture – passion, fun and positive energy will beat the energy vampires every time.
4. Create a “sacred cows” committee to challenge assumptions around longstanding rules and procedures.
5. Convene a “Things We Need to Stop Doing Right Now” meeting and have a frank discussion about what’s getting in the way of success.
6. Read Turning Complainers Into Explainers for suggestions on dealing with the fun suckers.
7. Have one-on-one conversations with your leader/employees where everyone answers the question: “What’s preventing you from doing your job in the best way possible?”

Is there something demotivating you that I’ve missed? Drop me a line at mike@mikekerr.com 

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