Does Your Business Make These Three Common Mistakes When Motivating People?

Jun 2, 2021 2 min read
Does Your Business Make These Three Common Mistakes When Motivating People?

I started writing with the premise that leadership is about producing more leaders, not more followers. So, I thought it worthwhile to look at three common mistakes businesses make when motivating people.

You see, many organizations are contradictory. On the one hand, businesses like the notion that people work because they need accomplishment. They set up developmental systems that support learning and encourage people to innovate.

And on the other hand, the business uses the heavy hand of standard operating procedures to reward and punish. They aim to encourage people not to make mistakes.

Do you see the problem?

3 Common Mistakes When Motivating People

We encourage people to make decisions, take risks, and come up with new ideas. And then we penalize them for making mistakes or not following some procedure or policy that was written for a different time or set of circumstances.

So, is it such a surprise that employees take the simplest path? And do nothing extraordinary?

Let us look at three common mistakes when motivating people.

Reward people who do nothing

In It’s Your Ship, Michael Abrashoff explains that helping people realize their full potential can lead to attaining goals that would otherwise be impossible to reach under command and control.

Yet, most organizations place the burden of decision-making on senior management. So, it seems, standard operating procedures are there to do the impossible: to provide the answers to every possible question.

But, life isn’t that simple. And, as a consequence, most people avoid responsibility and avoid making mistakes.

Who should make decisions? The senior manager? Or, the person with most information about it?

Put new people in old jobs

The times they are a-changin’. Yet, many businesses continue to appoint people into existing jobs. Why is this? Why do so many organizations fail to look to the future when recruiting?

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