Wednesday, February 25, 2009

STOP! Is your team de-motivated?

Are your team members demotivated? Most of the manager’s job has been to motivate and inspire the team when they are de-motivated. But why do people get de-motivated in an organization?

I have read a lot of articles on management that deals with how to motivate employees but it is not how you motivate them; rather, it’s how you prevent them from getting demotivated. It has been proved in a research that an employee gets demotivated after their first six months only, and the motivation continues to decline thereafter. This research is based on the survey conducted with about 1.2 million employees at 52 primarily Fortune 1000 companies from 2001 through 2004. This decline in motivation or demotivation may be due to the poor management style adopted by the manager. In addition, it’s not only the manager who is solely responsible for demotivation of employees. There are other factors as well such as organization policies and management actions that contribute in demotivating the employees.

So it’s not about how you as a manager need to motivate the employees, but it’s rather how you stop demotivating them. It is very important for an employer to understand the following factors:

Are you engaging your employees in some of the organizational initiatives?,

Are you treating them fairly? and

Are they able to communicate comprehensively and openly?

If your answer is “No” to even one of the above questions, then your employees are demotivated, and this may lead to serious problems. So before we identify the tips on how to prevent demotivation among the employees; let us first identify the causes of demotivation, which include as follows:

  • Most organizations dictate the employees on how to accomplish a particular task without telling them the need for doing that task. They feel that the employees are incompetent of making decisions. This may lead to demotivation among the employees.
  • Sometimes, criticizing one employee before their team members may also encourage demotivation.
  • Some managers set deadlines that seem to be impossible to be achieved thus demotivating the employees.
  • When a manager asks a team member for his/her input but immediately dismisses it, which results in demotivation among the employees.
  • Some managers give preferential treatment to a group of employees who are usually close to him/her. This sense of inequality among the team also leads to demotivation among the employees.
  • It is generally said that, “Employees are an assets.” However if an organization tends to override the statement, and in order to reduce costs, reduces the costs on employees; then this may also result in demotivation among the employees. They may feel that the “Employees are labor costs, and not the assets.”
  • Trust is most important factor, and if an organization feels that the employees are not trustworthy then this may also lead to demotiovation among the employees.
  • Sometimes, when a manager uses phrases that are not complete such as Just do it or Failure is not an option, and so on, the team members have a negative feeling among themselves. They feel that manager themselves doesn’t know what needs to be done, and thus it results in demotivation.

So, as a manager what you should do to instill confidence among your team members and how should you help them avoid getting demotivated. Let us understand this using the following tips:

  • Provide recognition to your team members
  • Communicate well with your team
  • Ensure proper coaching for employees
  • Be a good listener
  • Encourage teamwork
  • Provide feedback in case of non-performance

Let us elaborate on each of these tips a little more.

Provide recognition to your team members

To help eradicate demotivation among the employees, it is very important for you as a manager to provide recognition among them. Ensure that all of the members of your team are recognized of their efforts no matter small of large. This gives them a sense of satisfaction and makes them realize that their efforts have been fruitful. It has been proved by the experts that receiving recognition for achievements is one of the most fundamental needs of a human being. It is always good to say thanks to the team members on accomplishing the job rather than criticizing them before the team. This helps in removing any distress levels among the team members. As a manager, you need to understand that any sort of appreciation whether through a word of mouth or in the form of an email will be a morale booster for the employee and help them to eradicate demotivation. Some manager may ask themselves, “Why shall I appreciate for the good work that the employees have done for which they have been paid to do.” But, you must understand one thing that there is no harm in recognizing the efforts of the employees.

Communicate well with your team

Communication is the most important skill for managers to eradicate demotivation. While communicating, you need to ensure that you distribute the information which is important for the employees to know. The employees feel frustrated upon lack of appropriate information.

Communicating well requires managers to be attuned to what employees want and need to know.

Ensure proper coaching for employees

Every employee or a team member needs coaching in order to improve their overall performance and do well in the organization. Even Sachin Tendulkar, who is considered as the best batsmen in the world, hasn’t been so if there was no coaching from Ramakant Achrekar. Most managers often tend to neglect proper coaching for the employees. However, a proper coaching makes employees feel that organization care for them and as a result allow them to do even better thus improving performance.

Be a good listener

Listening is an important quality that a manager must have. But, it is different from being “just a listener” and being a “good listener”. As a manager, you need to listen to not only the problems of the team members but also try to gather information on how they can do the job in a much better way. This makes the employees or team members feel involved, and prevent demotivation. While managers inviting ideas from the employees, the employees believe a sense of involvement in their work and they tend to love their work even more than before.

Encourage teamwork

In an organization, it is the team that matters the most rather than the individuals themselves. So, it is very important for a manager to team members to work in teams more often in order to accomplish a task rather than working in its own. This gives the employees gives themselves a boost in confidence. A manager needs to create an environment to promote teamwork by organizing self-managed teams and creating an opportunity to cross-train each other and using techniques such as brainstorming.

Provide feedback in case of non-performance

Feedback is an essential component that a manager can use in order to avoid demotivation among the team members. The employees who have an average level of performance need to be informed in order to improve. A manager must ensure to provide a feedback on a periodical basis. It must be remembered that there is a difference between a performance feedback and annual appraisal. The employees have the every right to know whether they are doing well or not. So, it’s up to the manager to provide feedback from time to time rather than waiting for the annual appraisal. The annual appraisal is meant for summarizing how the whole year has went by for the employee. It is the manager’s responsibility to create a healthy team environment.

So, to prevent the occurrence of demotivation among the employees, it is essential to keep them motivated. It is the employees who make the organization, and it has been proved that motivated employees are crucial for organization success. Employees just don’t work for money. In fact, they work for more than just money. The important thing to note here is to make provide an environment in which they feel that their job is secure and thus allow them to love their jobs.

Thus, as a manager, if you follow the above mentioned tips, you are surely able to support your employees' goals for achievement, impartiality, and camaraderie. This enables you to retain the enthusiasm among the employees when they joined the organization.



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STOP! Is your team de-motivated? is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at akapoor.blogspot.com.

3 comments:

DUBU said...

i see that you've been writing some good stuff Anuj. this one's nice! why don't we publish it in MITWA News? :)

Anuj Kapoor said...

Thanks..this one was written a long time back..now i m also wondering what happened to my writing..am i beginning to lose touch in my writing..c i can feel as i m writing these lines.. :(

now I want to make a promise to myself that I would write write two articles each month, and get it published.

Prateek Shah said...

I think motivation is out and out a team activity. Although most of the onus lies with the team leader, but if the team members are not willing to be happy/satisfied, then there isnt much that even a mentor can do. Collective effort is the key to motivate everyone for an efficient environment.