I am running a Four Week EveryDay Coach and Leader program in two weeks. It will likely be the only one before the holidays. This is the perfect program for you or someone on your management team to learn how to effectively coach your staff to higher levels of performance. Details here.
"When people are highly motivated, it's easy to accomplish the impossible. And when they're not, it's impossible to accomplish the easy." - Bob Collings
I love today's quote. While we often think about how to motivate employees, sometimes leaders demotivate the staff and not even know it. As the quote says, that makes it impossible to accomplish the easy.
Here are four ways frontline leaders might unintentionally demotivate their employees, and what they can do to avoid doing so.
1. Take charge after not being on the floor. This happens when a leader walks on to a busy sales floor and immediately takes charge - without knowing what customers have been helped. Even worse, he or she asks customers if they've been helped. Both actions inadvertently communicate to the staff that their manager has no confidence that they are doing their jobs when the manager wasn't on the floor. (Which I am sure is not the case!)
Taking action: When walking on to a busy floor, always take a moment to ask the employees who, or how, you can help.
2. Undermining the company or their boss. Many leaders do this without even realizing it. I awhile back I heard a manager tell her staff that the company wants them to do something new. She immediately followed up by explaining why it won't work. You could see her staff's negative reaction. As a leader, you are the company. Your staff should never know if you don't personally support something.
Taking action: Be careful to not to undermine your company, or share your personal feelings when they are not aligned with the company or your manager.
3. Cherry pick customers.I once had an assistant manager who did this all of the time. The minute he learned a customer was going to take a long time or be somewhat challenging, he'd hand him or her over to a colleague because he had "some important operational things to do." Funny, he never handed over that customer who walked in to make a purchase.
Taking Action: Be consistent in how you choose to turn customers over to your staff. Remember that each instance gives you an opportunity to teach your staff, and demonstrate your priorities and expectations.
4. Hold themselves to a different set of standards. Not many managers do this on purpose, but it happens from time to time. I see managers who take personal calls when the staff is told they can't.
I've also seen managers who don't always stick to their scheduled working hours. True, the managers might be exempt and have had to work for the store from home, but does the staff know that?
Taking Action: Be aware of what your actions communicate to the staff. Your actions are always teaching. Be proud of what the lesson is.
So let me ask, how might you unintentionally demotivate employees?
Using This Article
Discuss with your entire leadership team these and other ways a manager might unintentionally demotivate the staff.
About Doug Fleener
Doug Fleener, a proven business and customer service experience expert, helps companies achieve performance that exceeds customer and employee expectations resulting in more sales, profits, and customers.
Learn more about our services at Sixth Star Consulting, or call Doug at 844-861-7803 to discuss how he can help you achieve higher levels of performance and results. Learn about Doug's keynotes and workshops at DougFleener.com. Sample a Sixth Star University online training program at SixthStarU.com.