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Management Basics

You get the behavior you reward. As a manager if an employee, department or group of employees are behaving contrary to expectations, rules or policies it is because you are either tolerating their behavior or contributing to it, so yes, if you have a problem stop pointing your finger and start looking in the mirror. People, everyone, acts in a way that is comfortable for them so if you continue to make poor behavior acceptable or even comfortable it will continue, increase and even spread. Don’t believe me – why not look at behavior you are getting that is unacceptable and ask yourself – how long has this been going on? Is it worse today than it was last year? Why is it continuing?

You are responsible to people not for them. If you have employee’s that are not performing up to standards, let me ask you – do you keep bailing them out because of their race, gender, history or some other reason? Do you feel responsible for their success? Do you sacrifice some of your own roles, duties, responsibilities in order to help them when what they are not doing is what they are getting paid to do? As a speaker/trainer I am responsible to my client’s and audiences but if they choose to tune out emotionally, fail to pay attention, don’t use some of the material covered etc. – trust me I am not going to lose any sleep. I did my best to share information and ideas that could be of value to them – it was their choice to not apply it or even listen to it. In this article I am doing the same. If you feel what I am covering is valuable but don’t do anything with it – well I made my point.

You job is not to motivate employees but create a positive
motivational culture. As a manager or leader, you are not responsible for your employee’s motivation. Real motivation is an inside-out process not outside-in. Unfortunately, however too many managers are still using the two primary motivators to create productivity – fear/punishment or reward/incentive. Both are outside-in approaches and tend to work because a large percentage of the workforce are driven by outside-in tactics. The problem is both are temporary and results are determined by the individual needs of a person. In other words – if they are not concerned about the threats or fears – it won’t work. If they are not interested in your rewards or incentives – again no results. Real, lasting and passionate motivation comes from inside and the role of management is to create an environment where this can be nurtured and developed for the common good.

Creating self-accountability. If you are a manager or leader that is responsible for multiple employees I will guarantee that if you could overhear all of their conversations, observe their behavior or witness some of their actions that before every day came to an end you would average one heart attack a day. And why, because people do dumb things, have personal agendas, lack awareness or understanding, are poorly trained etc. So what’s the answer? Well for starters you can’t put body cameras on every employee or record every conversation but what you can do is create an atmosphere, culture, expectations and accountability of – self-accountability. Can’t go into detail in this short article but suffice it to say that the employees that operate with this mindset or approach are better performers than those that do not have it.