Companies are running thinner today with employees than ever before. Those employees are increasingly asked to do and accomplish more with fewer assets, minds, and materials. They’re expected to work longer hours, give up time off, and produce bigger and better results. At the same time many are asked to do this while having benefits, retirement, and health care plans reduced or eliminated.

It’s frustrating and hard for employees to maintain motivation much less a positive attitude. In the beginning they were able to keep going because they were just thankful not to be among the many millions out there looking for a job. As the months have turned into years though, it’s wearing thin and managers are forced to find new ways to motivate while breaking old habits that may be more de-motivational than intended.

Here are a few habits you need to break as you look for new ways to bring more positive motivation into the workplace.

Don’t Expect Your Staff to Know Where You’re Coming From

Or going for that matter. They are skilled at their jobs but unless you’ve hired them to read minds, that’s probably not one of their many skills. Most businesses that have made it through the recession have done so by eliminating all but the best and brightest among their employees.

No matter how great your team or staff happens to be, they still need to have a direction and they need to understand what you’re looking for and why you’re making the changes you’re making. Don’t offer false reasons either. Be honest with your employees and they’ll be loyal to you.

Don’t try to Divide

Talking bad about the people who work for you or “under” you to their coworkers reflects more on you than it ever could on them. More importantly, it leaves employees wondering what you’re saying about them when they aren’t around. It can lead to major feelings of dissatisfaction with the job and with you as a boss.

You want to do everything in your power to promote team unity rather than division. It’s a gold standard that is not only the sign of a great manager but also incredibly motivating to the people around you.

Give Praise that Matters to the Person You’re Praising

Praise is only positive when it’s offered in a positive way. It’s not about what you consider to be the highest form of praise and acknowledgement but about what will mean the most to the person you’re singling out.

Not everyone likes public praise or attention. Some people prefer to work behind the scenes. Not everyone is ambitious and in need of pats on the back in front of the bosses in order to feel appreciated. Find out what motivates your individual team members and you’ll be better able to offer praise that will matter most to them for jobs well done.

Breaking de-motivational habits is great. Replacing them with good managerial motivation habits is even better. Don’t forget that motivation is more critical now than it’s been in recent memory. Make your efforts to motivate your team count at every turn and you’ll have a team that will work harder and more effectively for you than ever before.

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici /

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.