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Motivation mistakes that many managers make


Motivation MistakesThere are many motivation techniques that a manager can use to motivate his/her employees. Unfortunately, managers are so busy in managing tasks than managing people that they would rather concentrate on making their employees happy than dealing with real issues and guiding them to success. Thus, in this blog I will talk about some of the common mistakes that managers make while motivating their employees.

Give them more money: Most managers and leaders think that if we pay enough money, we can find people who will do almost any job. And hence, most managers believe that when they give bonuses to reward their employee’s past performance, they will usually become very happy, unless they were expecting a larger bonus. Money is definitely a motivating factors for some, however, this happiness is short-lived. Within few months, your employees will have difficulty in recalling that bonus and it might not have the same impact that it did within the first few weeks of receiving it.

Ignore conflicts: Most of the managers are concerned about being liked by their employees. Though it is a good thing to be liked by your workforce, it is not always going to be possible. People have differences, and hence, you will also have conflicts with your employees at some point in time. Unfortunately, many managers try to ignore these kind of conflicts at any cost, because they don’t want to ruin their relationships with their employees. Some managers would rather “let something go” or “sweep under the rug” than make an issue out of it. This practice is not going to lead you anywhere. If you keep on avoiding conflicts for long time, your employees will think that you don’t have any power, and they can do whatever they feel like, and it will eventually poison your relationship with your employees anyways.

Keep them happy: I have seen many managers, who will often go to great lengths to keep their employees happy. As a manager, you should always be invested in your employees, its your job. But that doesn’t mean that you have to go through great pain just to make your employees happy. I have seen many managers, who offer game rooms for their employees, or an early day off on every second Friday, or company paid lunches every other week. The theory behind all of these actions is – if you keep your employees happy, it will translate into increased motivation and productivity. Unfortunately, this is not very effective in practice. If you provide frequent benefits like these, your employees might get used to it, and this practice will become the accepted culture within your team, where some of your employees will continuously abuse these benefits.

Some are not motivated: Most managers believe that their poor performers are just lazy, and not motivated enough to do the job. This is a very common misconception that most managers have. As a human being, we are all motivated to do something, but our reasons for motivation can differ. Walking through the offices, the manager may see someone playing computer games or sending personal e-mail, this could be seen as the individual is not motivated because he’s not attending to the job tasks. But that may not be entirely correct. At that moment, the “aimless” employee is motivated, perhaps even highly motivated. But that motivation is not work directed, nor is it productive for the company.

No motivation for smartest: Some managers believe that their top performers don’t need to be motivated; since they are very quick to learn new things, and adapt to new technologies, they don’t require any other motivation. Unfortunately, these managers are completely wrong. Intelligence and self-motivation do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. You might have a smart employee who hasn’t been able to find out just what motivates her personally, and hence, she might get bored or frustrated easily. As a result she might lose her interest in her work, which will reduce her productivity eventually.

I hope, my blog can help you find out some of the ineffective motivational techniques that you might be using, unknowingly. Let me know, if you can think of any other motivational techniques, which are hurting your employees rather than helping them. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management

 

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How to effectively provide negative feedback to your employees? Part 1


FeedbackFirst of all, I would like to thank my readers for really liking my last blog series about ‘honest feedbacks’. I really appreciate your feedback, so please keep it coming. Secondly, many of you have asked me how to provide honest, but negative feedback, to your employees, and hence, I am writing this two-part series blog for answering some of your questions.

Refrain from personal attacks: While giving feedback to others, try to direct your feedback towards their behavior rather than towards that particular person. A common mistake lot of managers make is to criticize the person rather than their negative behavior. If you tell your assistant that she is a poor excuse for a secretary, then it is a personal attack rather than a constructive criticism. These kind of feedback can only make your employees more defensive towards you and your feedback. So, try to identify the problematic behavior and focus on what can be done to correct it in the future, instead of launching personal attacks towards your employees. For example: This is what you tell your secretary when she makes an accounting mistake … “Jackie, an accounting mistake like this one can cost way more than our weekly office budget. From now on, please check with me before finalizing any orders costing more than $100”.

Be descriptive: While providing feedback to your employees, don’t be evaluative or judgmental, instead be descriptive. Descriptive feedback is tactfully honest and objective, whereas evaluative feedback seems to be more judgmental and accusatory to the feedback receiver. Here is an example of an evaluative feedback: “Where is your sales report? You know it is due on my desk no later than 9:00 each morning. You’re obviously not reliable anymore.” Here is an example of a descriptive feedback for the same situation: “When you don’t turn your sales reports in on time, I’m unable to complete the departmental report on time. This makes both of us look bad. You’ve been late twice this month. Is there something I can do to help you get those reports in on time?” Like in this example, descriptive words are more likely to result in cooperation.

Keep it short: If you are providing constructive criticism to your employee, don’t have a marathon about it. Try to include only as much information as the person can handle at one time. Suppose during a performance appraisal, you give an employee a list of 20 items that need improvement. Even though you might feel better after fully expressing your feelings, your employee will only remember 2-3 major bullet items from that meeting and forget everything else. How can anyone improve on 20 things at the same time? Think about it, can you do that? What would have happened if your manager gave you similar feedback? Wouldn’t you require more time to analyze this much information at once? Thus, you should restrict yourself while giving negative feedback to your employees. Give only two or three suggestions that your employee can reasonably handle at a time.

These are some ideas through which you can effectively provide negative feedback to your employees. If you have any other ideas through which we can make this process easier, then please share your ideas with me through your comments here. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

 
 

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