Motivating employees is a strategy which requires long-term planning to affect the general work surroundings, and implementation must be continuous. What is amazing is that, although general managers are fully aware of all the losses and costs resulting from lack of motivation, plenty of them are reluctant to invest time, work and money to actually generate an environment for motivation.
Business owners know that without a motivated team they lose business and customers. They also witness a lowering of performance, quality and service levels, combined with an increase in tangible and intangible costs which might have been avoided: costs associated with accidents due to negligence, lawsuits from customers, labor disputes, higher staffing levels, supervisory and worker turnover with all the costs this entails, such as retraining, additional expenses to correct the enterprise’s picture, keep customers and attract new ones by means of marketing as well as costs which ought to never have been occurred. Companies hire department heads with the appropriate schooling, background, experience and qualifications. Or they hire people right out of college, who did some internship. Sometimes they promote from within, moving a well-performing assistant department head.
For some reason, those who hire new managers and supervisors expect them to succeed immediately as leaders who will know how to generate a motivated team who, in turn, will deliver the expected performance. In a worst case scenario, they actually expect the new hires to correct an existing bad situation, which the executive management itself could not solve! This is a great deal of responsibility placed on the shoulders of a new manager or supervisor.
New managers themselves feel insecure at this preliminary stage and require assistance and assistance to overcome their new challenges. Employees often reject new authority. They do their best to make life difficult for new managers and supervisors, or they do not react, going about their duties, ignoring the change in management. They work in silence and do not communicate. They do not warn of pitfalls and past failed attempts. In the event that they see a new supervisor forge ahead in a wrong direction, they joyfully wait for him (or her) to fall flat on the face. Some even boycott the efforts of the new manager.
Business owners ought to recognize the precarious situation newly hired managers and supervisors find themselves in. They can dedicate some time to converse and listen to these new hires, ask for feedback, offer and even assure them of assistance, and, most of all, communicate to them a feeling of trust and safety. In the matter of worker motivation, it is these mid-managers who require management’s full attention and assistance. They are the key to the motivation and successful performance of their departments.
Most consultants point out that usually new hires would not dare admit to needing guidance in the matter of people management, nor would they admit to being sabotaged by assistants and employees. They think about such revelations as an admittance of personal failure, due to impact their own job security. It is up to upper-level managers and business owners to generate an actual open and collaborative atmosphere, in which such troublesome issues could be discussed. When new hires feel the necessity for management coaching and training, they never ask for it. And if offered, they would hesitate to accept it, not yet knowing whether this would show a sign of their weakness.
Due to plenty of demands business owners and senior-level managers have on their time, successful companies hire outside consultants to help newly hired managers and supervisors succeed. Unfortunately some organizations do not – leading to under-developed, non-performing mid-managers and most of the time a wide spread case of “Peter Principle”. Those who do not take time to face the needs of their mid-managers often invest in other areas of the company to counter the effects of loss business; they spend on new decor, new sales campaigns and rebates and enter an ever-ending cycle of having to make constant efforts to market and promote their business.
If training and people development were universally labeled as part of product research and development they would have seen an upsurge in operational and organizational performance. Business people, who think in this context, end up leading their companies to success beyond their dreams. In lieu of constantly looking for the “right” solution to worker motivation, they would spend their time generating new ventures, with the help of the people they nurtured.