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Every organization seems to have its own ways of demotivating employees. The following are some of the most potent demotivators common to most companies:


  1. Politics
    There is a political side to almost every organization. It involves competition for power, influence, resources, favor and scarce promotions. It usually operates according to unwritten rules of success that send subtle, ambiguous and anxiety-producing messages to employees about politically "correct" behaviors such as whom to fear, whom to appease, whom to avoid and whom to blame. A few employees may pride themselves on their political savvy. But organizational politics leaves most people feeling helpless and demoralized.

  2. Unclear expectations
    "Maximize production!" "Quality is job one!" "Give customers your complete attention!" "Reduce customer contact time!"
    Without realizing it, management often sends a confusing array of messages to employees. After a while, workers realize that when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. They can waste large amounts of energy working on the wrong tasks, accomplishing the wrong results, and becoming extremely frustrated in the process.

  3. Unproductive meetings
    Meetings are vital to corporate success. But nothing saps the spirit like watching, powerless, as a meeting wanders into oblivion.
    The Following guidelines should help to ensure that employees look forward to meetings: ensure that the meeting is essential and that the right people are invited to attend; develop a cadre of skilled meeting leaders; prepare a results-oriented agenda, focussing on a few key items, and distribute it to all participants before the meeting; expect participants to prepare for the meeting; use formats that encourage everyone to take part; make sure that the meeting ends on time, that its effectiveness is evaluated and that action points are promptly followed up.

  4. Hypocrisy
    Many organizations say one thing but do another. For example, they may: encourage feedback, but not act on it; claim to trust their employees, but make them ask permission before they do anything; or cut spending on everything except the chief executive's salary. Employees then feel angry, frustrated and betrayed.

  5. Constant change
    Change can be highly motivating when it is results-oriented, well planned and well communicated. But constant change is disruptive. It leaves employees feeling like pawns, forced to go in whatever direction management decides is right at the moment. Some firms seem to become enamoured with one "cureall" after another. Other companies change excessively because of lack of direction or poor planning. Firms should respond openly and honestly to employees' concerns by answering such questions as: "Why is this change needed?" and "How is it going to affect us?"

  6. Withholding information
    Lack of information is a major source of employee anxiety. What people do not know makes them nervous and is typically perceived as a threat. There is rarely any conspiracy to withhold information. It is just that few managers appreciate the extent of employees' information needs.

  7. Low-quality standards
    The quickest way to kill the human spirit is to ask someone to do mediocre work. Some organizations make decisions and design systems that rob employees of their right to pride in workmanship. Time and cost constraints, driven by short-term production goals, are major reasons for quality compromises.

Milis FEUI82
Dikirim oleh: Irwan B. Afiff
Jum'at, 27 Desember 2002


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