Just how would you feel about a medical doctor who harmed more patients than she or he helped? What about a law enforcement officer who committed more killings than he solved? Or an educator whose pupils got less intelligent as the time grew?
And what if you found that these absurd outcomes were more the rule than the exception, that they were representative of most health practitioners, most law enforcement officers, and most educators? You'd be more than confused. You'd be infuriated. You'd foment that something hadn’t been done sooner. Right?
That is precisely what happens every day with managers and leaders who don’t grasp the how and why of motivating employees. Aside from familial and societal aspects productivity and profits must increase.
Given this, why are we complacent when faced with information that suggests most managers are more likely to douse the conflagrations of employee enthusiasm than to provoke them? Why would you suppose we aren’t a little bit annoyed that our systems are more likely to exasperate extraordinary accomplishment than to nurture it?
Wrote Peter Drucker, “There are only two books that a publisher does not loose money on- cook books and books on motivation. The reason is they are purchased by people who can do neither." Drucker’s Criticism of the Behavioral Sciences and Motivational Theories
The above Drucker quote was resultant of the evolution of the Human Relations School during the 1930’s. The Hawthorne Studies by Mayo, Roethlisberger and Whitehead had expected to measure changes in the employees’ working environment and any effect on productivity. You may recall the research revealed any changes that were observed were caused by something as succinct as how the employees were treated.
On a consistent basis this is how productivity, diminishing returns and employee demotivation are fomented:
Creates a company environment of internal politics as the way to get promoted.
Promotes destructive internal competition between workers.
Changes the rules in the middle of a project.
Creates unclear expectations regarding employee's performance and results.
Creates a bureaucracy of forms and reports and unnecessary rules for individuals to follow.
Over manages (tells what to do, how to do, and controls) vs. leading and does not allow autonomy.
Withholds information that individuals need to perform their jobs, lying, and claiming it’s a misunderstanding.
Takes time from people by having them attend unproductive meetings.
Emphasizes criticism and negative feedback vs. recognition and positive feedback.
Tolerates poor performance of others so that high performing people feel taken advantage of.
Treats people unfairly and show favoritism to a select few.
Under utilizes the capabilities of people and inhibits their personal growth
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