It was not too long ago after working for a company for three years I had given my notice to move on. During a division meeting on my last day, it was announced that I was leaving to the employees and the CIO praised me stating that my contributions were appreciated and would be remembered. It took all my self-control not to burst out laughing, as we left I turned to my colleague and stated that why did it take 3 years for someone to finally acknowledge my work. If you ask me how I felt about that praise, my answer would have been too little too late. Three years working and the only praise I get is when I am about to walk out the door, I filed that under #whogivesadamn.
How would you feel when being tasked to create a change management process as part of your job, I love challenges and thought this could be a career builder. I started the process brought it to my manger to review only to be shut down as the work I had done based on ITIL practices were not of his vision. Amazingly a mere six months later a change management process was adopted as developed by my IT manager. Everyone told him what a great job it was, but in reality it was my work, the manager sat on it for six months then brought it back out as his work. He did not fool the senior analysts, but the CIO thought his work was fantastic.
One of the big issues that I see in organizations is the lack of what I call management training. Reh (n.d.) offers up a good definition of what a manger is, a “person responsible for planning and directing the work of a group of individuals, monitoring their work, and taking corrective action when necessary. For many people, this is their first step into a management career.” This may come to a surprise of a lot of managers but if you are not managing people, you really are just an employee. Yes you may manage a budget or perhaps even a process or two, but without people to manage you really
Demotivating employees is easy; in fact according to NFIB (n.d.) there are eight ways to demotivate an employee. The second example cited by the article is Failing to provide praise. Want to demoralize an employee just let their good work go unnoticed. Lipman (2013) states that taking “credit for a project one of your employees actually did most of the work on” is demotivating. Clearly based on my experience, these two factors can easily make an employee feel undervalued once this happens you have lost your employee. Once you lost an employee they will leave you at the next opportunity.
It is too bad that when it comes to review time, HR does not interview employees to get a feel for how managers are doing. More often or not, managers are judged on things like Budgets, productivity and other KPIs. What they may not be judged on are KPI’s such as Absenteeism, productivity of staff, how often an employee is late or leaves early and Churn Rate. Too often managers are based solely on what can be measured. We often don’t take the time to measure an employee’s satisfaction of their job and manager. It is assumed that many employees feel the servitude of their jobs versus looking at the joy there job could bring them and those around them. But this has to start with management, if managers fail to believe that employees are nothing more than labor cost, we may never see employees motivated to the point where they work to peak performance.
Lipman, V. (2013) ‘5 easy ways to motive and demotivate – employees’ [Online]. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/03/18/5-easy-ways-to-motivate-and-demotivate-employees/ (Accessed September 9, 2013)
Reh, F.J. (n.d.) ‘Manager’[Online]. Available at: http://management.about.com/od/policiesandprocedures/g/manager1.htm (Accessed Sept. 9, 2013)
NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses) (n.d.) ‘8 Surefire ways to Demotivate Your employees’ [Online] Available at: http://www.nfib.com/business-resources/business-resources-item?cmsid=55591 (Accessed: September 9, 2013)