Magazine article Management Review

Motivating a Demotivated Staff

Magazine article Management Review

Motivating a Demotivated Staff

Article excerpt

Motivating an entrenched demotivated support staff is a tough job to tackle, especially if the staff doesn't receive paid overtime. There are a number of options available for managers to turn the situation around. First, however, you must lay a foundation of trust and support by doing the following:

1. Take stock of the situation. Does each staff member have an opportunity to obtain clarification about company policies, to make suggestions and to air grievances? If not, it is essential that management create this weekly opportunity for the support staff to express itself either individually or in a group setting.

2. Create job descriptions for each support staff position. This is critical. After management and staff have created these outlines, give them to each support person for easy reference. If administered properly, you'll never hear that famous phrase, "That's not my job," again.

3. Empower staff to perform the work they're responsible for--and hold them accountable. This is a tough one for managers to accept. They must turn over part of their functions to their employees and allow support staffs to manage their own affairs. In the words of a Merrill Lynch executive, managers must "lift up" and delegate to free themselves from the routine of their current job and start thinking about how they can be more productive and can move up in the organization.

It makes no sense to give support staff responsibilities without giving them authority. If it is in the budget, one successful option is to authorize staff to purchase any office product up to $50 that would improve productivity. Another effective tool is to allow the support staff to hire and manage temporary employees to help with work overload.

4. Create a positive environment. While you can't promise staffers a lifelong job, you can create a corporate culture where the support staff has the opportunity to upgrade skills and abilities. …

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