A lot is written about motivation, especially when it comes to employees. “You are what you think about.” “In order to succeed, we must first believe.” “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” While all of this is quite nice to read, rarely does it really impact folks’ lives. In fact, if you’re busting your butt digging a ditch or nailing shingles, someone saying this kind of trite stuff is more likely to make you angry than encourage you. Rather than focus on fluffy quotes, let’s talk about some of the things bosses do to demotivate.
Years ago, one of my first bosses was famous for telling people that he rarely helped with anything and mostly played golf. We would take care of it was code for, ‘I am going to play golf and my staff will work themselves to death to do this because I told them to.’ He took credit for being part of the team and never played a single down. Be careful of talking about ‘we’ if you’re not going to pitch-in yourself. Give credit where credit is due. Simply say, “The accounting department (or whatever is appropriate) will look into this and take care of it for you.”