Management Services magazine published an insightful article entitled, “The great Motivational Myth” which focuses on the faulty assumption that many managers suffer from. That is, there’s a vast pool of unmotivated people out there and if management can’t identify the cause of a problem, then it must be the employee’s fault and as such, they blame it on lazy employees.
As Jerry Pounds writes in his article, “This view is reflected by the fact that when a company is having a bad sales year, the management team instantly starts shopping for motivational programs for their salespeople.”
Whether sales are down or there’s a decline in the quality of produce or service offered, many managers are quick to blame poor performance on unmotivated, slacking or disengaged salespeople.
While there was over $100 billion dollars spent last year in the United States on incentives, every productivity problem is not related to a lackluster drive or waning motivation.
Unfortunately, the management teams most likely to depend on incentive programs to solve a problem that may not even be there in the first place are the same managers who live in a corporate culture or environment that fails to give the problem the due dilligence and attention it deserves. Rather than exploring the true cause of the problem, they offer a quick incentive fix. Managers must instead focus on the continued development of their core management competencies and hone their essential coaching skills which have often proved to be more effective than any incentive you can offer.
Incentive programs that are poorly researched, positioned and executed can result in creating the very thing they are looking to avoid. That is, a higher degree of dissention, turnover and more barriers to drive greater performance. In essence, many incentives act as de-motivators and wind up costing the company more time, energy and lost selling opportunities. There are several steps that a company can take to get back to the traditional rewards and bonuses for performance excellence and what managers can do to widen their stockpile of more targeted, effective solutions they can offer that’s actually in alignment with the problem.
Here’s the link to read the entire article.