Busting Myths About Motivation- What Leaders Should Know

4 min readMar 31, 2020

Are You A Leader Trying To Motivate Your Employees?

Motivation. The most asked question by managers all around the world revolves around:

“Why aren’t my employees motivated?”,

“How can I encourage my employees”,

“What am I doing wrong”

The Gallup organization estimates that disengaged, unmotivated workers cost businesses about $300 billion in profit every year. Despite your best efforts, you could be holding back on “Employee Motivation,” and one big reason being some long-held myths which we will be busting today:

Here are some of the most common myths about employee motivation and the facts every leader, manager, and supervisor needs to know:

1. Having work is motivation enough

Wishful thinking, to say the least!

Many managers consider the very fact of having a job to be a powerful motivating factor, sufficient to make any employee happy. The idea is understandable, but not really true, especially if your company is located in one of the developing countries currently experiencing waves of layoffs.

In order to motivate your employees properly, it is vital to consider their happiness a major priority for your business. Treat them well, acknowledge their successes, and your employees will be a reliable resource.

2. Only Incentives, offers are a factor of motivation

The myth that money is a cure for everything, that it is an easy way to solve problems, especially for raising morale, takes its root in managerial practices.

Raising wages is one of the fastest and easiest ways to raise an employee’s motivation, but as with competition, it’s only effective in short bursts. The incentive money creates quickly fades, and the question of motivation arises once again.

You need to rethink if you feel money is the only motivator for your employees

3. Fear Is a Great Way to Inspire Motivation

Leaders who try to hold people accountable through fear may not realize while doing it. Or, if they’re doing it intentionally, they may try to argue that fear gets things done. The truth is, using fear as a driving force provides only short-term motivation and causes frustration in employees.

Fear is a great motivator but for a short time. That’s why a lot of yelling from the boss won’t seem to “light a spark under employees” for a long time.

Also Read: How Employee Engagement Hits The Bottom Line

4. You don’t need to recognize or appreciate good performances

You are treating the same way you would either it be a bad employee or a good one.

It’s easy to misjudge the impact of a pat on the back, specifically with top performers who are intrinsically motivated. Everybody loves kudos, none more so than those who work hard and give their all. Rewarding individual accomplishments shows that you’re paying attention.

You need to communicate with your employees as to find out what makes them feel good (for some, it’s a raise; for others, it’s public recognition) and then to reward them for a job well done. With top players, this will occur frequently if you’re doing it right.

Refer: A Guide To Crafting Captivating Communication

5. Flexible work timings and remote work diverts employees and harms productivity

Some companies may be hesitant to initiate flexible hours or work-from-home policies, but according to a study, 81% of employees say this kind of flexibility is vital. They want to work in an environment that is best for them, which will inevitably boost productivity.

Why shouldn’t employees work from 7 am and finish earlier if they’re more productive in the mornings? Why should working mothers just be seen to be in the office come early, when they may be working long evenings too?

Consider providing employees with the liberty to make their own hours and work remotely, especially early in the year when morale tends to dip.

Good leaders need to self-reflect and choose if they’re prepared to put in the effort to find out what motivates their employees. Can you meet the specific and nuanced motivation needs of everyone in your company? Building trust with your teams by treating them like real people is the quickest way to motivate them to greatness, and they’ll be motivated to live up to the standard that you’ve set.

If you nurture the characteristics above and evade the demotivators, you’ll turn out to be the kind of boss that people remember for the rest of their careers.

For more articles about leadership development, employee engagement, team management, visit Trebound’s Blog.




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