Slideshow How not to motivate employees

Published
  • January 26 2015, 2:11pm EST
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Disingenuous gestures between management and staff can drive a wedge in efforts to increase engagement and productivity. Bernard Marr, founder and CEO of Advanced Performance Institute, has several tips to encourage employers to more sincerely let employees feel appreciated and know their efforts are truly appreciated.

Don’t just reward results

Effort can often be just as important as the result. While lauding the employee or team that made the big sale or completed the major project, don’t forget the unsung heroes behind the scenes. “Big projects may take a long time to come to fruition and it is important that you keep employees engaged and feeling appreciated for the duration,” Marr says.

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Do not support a ‘superstar’ culture

Motivating and incentivizing needs to be carefully balanced so individual success doesn’t appear more beneficial to business done by a team as a whole. “If staff feels that one ‘superstar’ employee is constantly rewarded for the performance of the group, then motivation will suffer,” Marr notes. Success should be recognized at all three levels: individual, departmental and company.

Don’t directly and permanently link KPIs to rewards

Key performance indicators should be used to ensure a company is moving in the right direction, not to incentivize or de-incentivize employees. However, Marr says, linking KPI to rewards for one-off or short-term projects, such as a department that might be lagging, could be beneficial.

Don’t delay rewards, praise

Data has proven the existence of a direct relationship between how quickly someone is lauded for their efforts to how appreciated they feel. It’s easy to think about getting around to sending a congratulatory note or gift, but “every second you delay is another second that someone (or your whole team) may be feeling unappreciated,” Marr notes.

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Don’t become predictable

Vary what and how you reward your employees. As something becomes routine, it becomes more of an expectation and less of a special event. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” Marr notes. “Put some time and imagination into coming up with ways to make your team feel valued.”