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Need to improve staff motivation? Here are four things your employees hate and how to avoid doing them

by , 29 April 2015
Sometimes in communication you'll be surprised to see that what you're saying can be misinterpreted - this is especially true when talking to your employees.

That's because it happens more than often and the higher the level of management is, the harsher the misinterpretation can be.


What a manager or boss sees as a suggestion is sometimes translated as a critique by the team who has put a lot of effort into a project which now has to be changed, on the last minute, after a small "suggestion" the manager decided to make. This, in turn, affects staff motivation.

While you care about your team and what to help them invest both in them and in the work they have to do, when it comes to other habits you might have as an employer, here are four of them that, Jeff Haden, contributing editor for Inc. Magazine thinks you should give up:

Four bad employer habits you should give up today if you want to keep your staff motivated

1. You have assigned Parking Spots

In translation, only some parking spots are available and those are for certain people who, without any doubt, at least in your opinion, are important people.

"All assigned parking spots do is create artificial distinctions for arbitrary and often self-serving criteria. If you've ever claimed that, "every employee is important," assigning special parking places says you don't really mean it." Haden advises you to remove the reserved parking signs.

2. You give Employee of the Month Award

While it may look like a good idea and one employee may feel like he's reached the stars and he is the best of the best, look at what happens with the levels of motivation for the rest of your employees: They drop like flies.

So while you made one employee more motivated, you made your other 100, 200, 300 (you name it) employees pretty much unsatisfied with their work, the company and you.

Haden's advice? "Recognising effort and achievement is self-reinforcing. When you do a better job of recognising your employees they tend to perform better - especially when you do it frequently."

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3. You ask your employees to participate at optional social events

You may think it's fun and sometimes you'll even think it's necessary. "Keep in mind your "pressure" is in the eye of the beholder. When you say, "Pete, I hope you can come to the company picnic..." because you think he's fun to socialise with, he may hear, "Pete, if you're not at the party I will be very disappointed in you", Haden explained.

Togetherness shouldn't be forced.

4. Peer and Self-Evaluations is a bad habit

According to Haden, self-evaluations are a waste. This becuase your employees believe  you should know they're doing a great job. On the opposite side of the scale, poor employees rarely rate themselves as poor, so you spend most of the evaluation session arguing about your differences in opinion.

As Haden states, if you truly wish and want to use feedback from your employees, ask them what you can do to help them further develop their skills or their career.

Moreover, peer evaluations are rarely honest and they won't offer you the truth. As a boss, you should already know who performs and who doesn't.

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