How to (de)motivate your employees

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I’ve given the post a shocking title on this occasion, but I think that by simply doing the opposite of what many companies do, it will be extremely clear what motivates employees and what to avoid at all costs. To explain it, I’ll give some examples of incidents that happen in some call centers, because I think they give a great illustration of what we are talking about and how it not only affects employees, but also customer service and how the customers perceive that service. With its nuances, it will be useful for any other workplace, be it a company that sells services or products.

The examples I give below are based on “real facts” although like in the movies, with the necessary distortions to protect the privacy of the people involved and their confidential nature. So here it goes:

  • Use technology resources that don’t work properly. In this case, the IT program for checking data and making appropriate changes should work like clockwork. I can understand that a program has occasional faults, but if it freezes frequently or goes too slow, the people providing the customer service can’t do their job properly.
  • Apart from that, in many campaigns calls need to be as short as possible, so it just makes things even more complicated. You are putting employees under a strain that they often can’t deal with. It’s extremely frustrating to receive a “lecture” for something that does not depend on you.
  • Frequent campaign changes without all the necessary information. Your company may work in a changing environment, but you need to understand that this places your “employees” under extra pressure. If this is the case, make sure that at least everything is clear when there’s a change.
  • Changes in the “way of doing things”. Constantly changing the procedures creates confusion. There are cases where even two different procedures may contradict themselves and no one knows which is the right one. You need to know how to inform. From the top-down.
  • Create false hierarchies. If you give a person greater responsibility or make them the “coordinator” or “supervisor” of a team, their pay package needs to change substantially. If not, you are basically asking for more responsibility for practically the same salary and that will grate on their mind.
  • What’s more, if a person goes from carrying out an operational position to a people-management one, the most logical thing to do would be to give them some training for it and follow up. And with a little consistency, please.
  • Having a suggestions box and reporting faults that will never be answered. If you don’t plan on answering me, don’t ask.

Making employees do arbitrary tasks so as it doesn’t appear that there are moments when they are not working. This is so absurd that it’s not worth commenting.

  • Special mention should be given to tactics that border on mobbing like: maybe we’ll send you to another city, we can change your shift whenever we like, we don’t pay you to think, etc.

I’d be happy to hear that you saying that those things don’t happen in the place where you work. Maybe in the 2.0 environment many of these practices seem last century. But I assure you, they happen in more places than you can imagine. Many defend themselves by saying that what I am asking costs money. What they don’t think is that behaving like that also costs money, more than it appears at first sight. A dissatisfied customer is a ticking bomb without a set time to go off. But they will eventually, one way or another. It may be easy for you to keep your employees with the recession, but when the recession passes, don’t be surprised if the best ones, the ones best trained or simply those that are sick of the company’s ways end up going. Everything has a cost.

What things are they doing in your workplace to motivate the group?