Sunday, December 14, 2008

Signals of Demotivation

Nirav an extraordinary brilliant young man got selected in a multi-national company. He was excited; ever since he joined the management school it was his dream to join this company. He was offered a handsome package, which apart from offering a good salary included a house and a car. Within three month of his joining he got an opportunity to attend a training program conducted at Singapore, a place he always wanted to visit. It has come to as a surprise to everyone when he had left the job within a period of less than six months. What was more shocking that he did not have a job in hand at the time of resigning?

What could be the reason for Nirav to leave a company that he always wanted to work? Well, the reason could be many e.g. it could simply be the indifferent behavior of his immediate boss. Just like Nirav a vast number of talented people leave organizations despite being offered best salaries in the industry. This is the height of dissatisfaction resulting into their demotivation that forces them to take this extreme step. Let’s look at our own team members. They are free agents and not the fixed assets of our organization. If we become too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy or too critical it can stress out them. If this continues every time they interact with us, they may decide to leave us and not necessarily the organization. The first time, person may not leave, but a thought gets planted. The second time, the thought gets strengthened and the third time, he starts looking for another job and finally moves on to a new job. Often it is a seemingly minor issue that may instigate them to quit. It is well said, “It isn't the 100th blow that knocks good man down it’s the 99 that went before”.

Did we ever imagine that if one of our team members leaves what it would cost to us and to our organization? Apart from the cost of finding a suitable replacement and to train him, organization will have to pay the cost for not having someone to do the job that was assigned to him. Specially, if the person was dealing with external environment the cost will be much more. It will include the loss of customers, the contacts the person had with the industry, and the loss of business secrets this person may now share with others. It will also result into the loss of morale in co-workers and of course, the loss of the company's reputation. It is well said, “Every person who leaves an organization then becomes its ambassador, for better or for worse”.

Sometimes, even an unintentional move can lead to the demotivation of our team member. Therefore, it is important for us to keep observing the signals our team members may give when he/she is getting demotivated. The moment such signal are visible we must take corrective steps; otherwise we may lose a good team member forever. Given below is a list of signals that suggest a motivational problem.
· Shows lack of enthusiasm
· Ignore actions suggested
· Avoids responsibility
· Come in late, while want to leave early for the day
· Taking leaves, specially on important occasions
· Shows resentment working with poor tools/equipment
· Stops meeting deadlines
· Displays lack of team spirit
· Want to break off and have fun during the working hours
· Doesn’t accept any of your special requests
· Magnifies a minor problem into a big one
· Spends too much time on outside activities/interests, (Union activities or running a
business of his own)
· Anti-management attitude

Excerpts from the book: ‘Why My Horse Doesn’t Drink – Learn to motivate people around you

Vivek Mehrotra

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