There is a story that seems to be repeated over and over again in business and across jobs. There is someone who is doing a good job, no hold that, a great job, maybe they even have the best performance in the company.
Attribution: Pixabay - PublicDomainPictures
Instead of their manager telling them that they are doing a good job, all they hear is that they have to do better. It is as if no matter how well you do, it will not be good enough.
This is thoroughly demotivating. A lot of people who love their job end up being stressed because of this. I have met people who are the best sales people in a company but because they are always being told to do better they end up quitting because of the stress.
Some companies have even institutionalised this harassment. Many people in sales roles now don't receive a sales commission, instead they are given a bonus if they meet their target. While I object to this simply because a sudden economic downturn or industry shift could stop a great sales person from obtaining a living wage, the real problem is that they keep shifting the goal posts.
Attribution: Pixabay - geralt
So after a year of working hard and building up sales they are told that next year, to receive the same bonus they must achieve an even higher target. The result is not motivational but stressful. I can imagine a lot of great sales people will respond to this by leaving their job and taking their client list with them.
Attribution: Pixabay - geralt
So how to manage positively
There are several ways to be positive. The first is to have regular performance meetings. You should meet every staff member at least once a month for a talk. More often is even better.
During performance meetings tell people about all the good work that they are doing. Don't make it up, actually find out what they do. A common mistake is to only have meetings with staff when there is a problem so all they hear is negative feedback.
Use the sandwich technique. No matter how good or bad your staff are there are always something good to say to them and some area that they can improve. Start with the good, bring up the areas of improvement and finish with more praise. Basically sandwich the bad within the good.
Attribution: Pixabay - Lebensmittelfotos
Being positive means that you are telling them what they are doing right so that they can keep doing it. I worked for a manager who during one of his insane rants basically criticised everything that I did publicly, so that I had absolutely no idea what he wanted me to do. The next day he came into my office and started telling privately about all the good things that I did, but I am going "But you told me yesterday not to do all those things."
You see he so focused on attacking people that he had basically harassed most of his staff into doing nothing. He had also harassed most of the customers into finding a new supplier as well. In the end he harassed himself out of business.
My last words on this subject is, wouldn't you love going to work where you hear everyday about how you genuinely make a contribution? Wouldn't be easier to do what the company needs you to do because you are being told this?