“I Don’t Care!”

What NOT To Do To Get Employees To Care

Here are three methods that I would rather not try.

I was speaking with a colleague recently who was complaining about employee complacency. It happens in many workplaces and it can become a downward spiral. When a critical number of your employees are disengaged, it seems to rub off on the others. How can you inject some motivation or positive energy to turn this around?

While I can suggest a great book that offers solutions The Brandful Workforce – How Employees Can Make, Not Break Your Brand, I’m writing this post to let you know what surely does not work.

No-No #1

One failed tactic is to rely on a rewards program to create a caring environment. Even though, it can be set up to reward those employees who are most caring, rewards programs are usually not properly integrated into an on-going and sustainable culture of caring and the programs seem more of a staged and temporary approach rather than a genuine attempt to make permanent change.

No-No #2

Why not just tell them to start caring?  Have you ever heard a manager say: “Hey, I need you to care more about your work.” It’s wrong to think that apathy is a rational decision being made every day. Talk is cheap and that’s why this approach does not work.

No-No #3

Here’s the best way to permanently ban caring from your workplace forever:  Use threats. They typically become a tactic, not out of thoughtful consideration, but out of desperation. Sometimes senior leaders place ultimatums on middle managers who don’t know what to do. And unfortunately these managers may be victims of poor corporate cultures. Without support, tools, and resources, some managers turn to penalizing employees with bad reviews, bad schedules, extra work, no bonus, or other punitive measures. This usually creates even further deterioration of employee sentiment as they can start blaming each other.

Yes, Yes, Yes

So, what’s the secret to having employees who care? Care about them.