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How Managers Undermine Employee Performance

Employee Performance

Are you working in an organization where managers know how to motivate people? Are managers held accountable for listening to their employees and addressing any complaints?

I coach a number of managers who consistently complain about certain employees, but don’t take the time or make the effort to address any underlying concerns. Effective managers listen to their employees, and are open to any feedback that will improve work place performance.

Spend enough time in meetings or the executive lunchroom, and you’re destined to hear your fair share of managers’ complaints about their employees.

But as these leaders vent their frustrations, they’re actually looking in the wrong direction.

Here’s the real truth: If employees aren’t motivated, then we should look to their managers and organizational practices. Those who dismiss their teams’ grievances can sabotage staff performance and bottom-line results.

If you want your employees to perform to their best abilities, take some advice from organizational behavior expert Stephen P. Robbins, PhD, author of The Truth about Managing People (FT Press, 2007).

Contrary to much of the misleading, generalized and inconsistent information found in business books, Robbins has researched human behavior and provides practical advice on what works—and what doesn’t—when managing a team.

As Robbins points out, traditional workplace incentives and disincentives function as cues for employee decision-making:
•  “Do ____, and you'll get a bonus.”
•  “Don't do ____, or you'll get fired.”

This approach discourages employees from examining the reasons why a task may or may not make sense. It forces them to make quick, intuitive decisions based on behaviors the system has historically rewarded and punished. But there are sometimes uninvited consequences.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for leaders at all levels? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders improve their ability to motivate employees to improve performance? Enlightened leaders need to improve their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I able to motivate people to perform at high levels?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for leaders to improve their ability at motivating their workforce.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you learn how to tap into peoples’ passion. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

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