Behavioral Tactics in Employee Management 

Behavioral Tactics in Employee Management 

Behavioral Tactics in Employee Management 

The job of a manager is essential to your average company. They act as a coach to the team, they direct the individual players that are the employees, and they keep them motivated until the team reaches the finish line of the task at hand. It is the last of these duties that we will focus on in this article. How can a manager keep their team motivated and productive until the task is complete?

Truthfully, there is no ‘One Size Fits All’ method when it comes to keeping employees motivated, and that sometimes, tactics fail because they’re not appropriate for the type of employee and the mindset that they’re currently in. However, using behavioral insights can lead us to using better strategies for each type of employee.

One would think that positive feedback would be a surefire way of motivating an employee, however there are cases in which giving a team member positive feedback can backfire. Too much can lead to the team member becoming lax and complacent because of a mistaken belief that they have already done a good job. Positive feedback is most appropriate for team members in doubt over their own abilities, i.e. new employees, while negative feedback, in fact, is more beneficial in improving the performance of more experienced workers who’re stuck in a rut, as the criticism is something they could utilize as a stepping stone towards their final goal.

In terms of goal setting, managers need to be careful on that behalf too, since setting unrealistically high goals can lead employees to become demotivated. Instead, setting shorter goals will act as small yet effective milestones, and temporary boosts to employee morale that’ll lead to more long-lasting motivation.

Incentives can be an effective tool in the manager’s arsenal of motivation, and a powerful one when it comes to subtly implementing values for a company’s work culture. The ‘Employee of the Month’ award can be a meaningless one, or, if the criteria for evaluation is made transparent, a powerful one in rewarding employees for exemplary behavior that is in line with the traits the company seeks in employees that will make it far in climbing the corporate ladder. If the criteria for winning is unclear, the award can be seen as an arbitrary one, especially if the employee in question is someone the others believe is undeserving. However, if the company’s desired values are injected into the evaluation criteria, it becomes clear to the other employees what the company values in its workers. The award can then become motivating to both the winner, in letting them know to continue the behavior and traits they’ve displayed, but also have a beneficial effect on the other employees, as they know what traits they need to emulate to enhance their performance within the workplace.

We have articulated several ways that a manager can motivate the individual employees that they are responsible for, and that there is no ‘One Size Fits All’ solution. Essentially, we’re encouraging managers to get to know their employees better, with regards to their professional capacities. These tactics only work when the manager has an awareness of their employees motivations. However, a ‘One Size Fits All’ solution may be found when the company has a solid culture in place. For example, as the manager continues to display traits that are in line with the culture the company is pursuing, the employees will begin to emulate these traits that their team leader is showing. Rewarding employees with appropriate Employee of the Month awards that properly reward deserving employees will also motivate employees to improve. Differentiating the approach of motivating individual employees will work in the short run, however, as the manager continues to instill the company’s values in their workers, the employees will be more in sync with how the company runs, which will lessen the burden on the managers, and lead to a more streamlined process of motivation towards the end goals of the company.

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