Research in the 1950s identified several things that demotivate employees. The following is based primarily on the work of Herzberg and is a list of motivation don’ts:
- Never personally attack someone.
- Never embarrass an employee.
- Don’t govern by fear.
- Don’t shoulder all the responsibility.
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Never personally attack someone. By all means, give constructive feedback. But you should criticize only the behavior, not the person.
Never embarrass an employee. When you have to provide negative feedback, do so in private. Self-esteem is critical to motivation.
Don’t govern by fear. If you are known to blame and finger-point, you won’t foster a climate of open communication and teamwork, which are key motivating elements.
Don’t shoulder all the responsibility. Sharing responsibilities will make your employees feel valued and respected, which will add to their motivation.