Here are 10 inept ways to fail as a manager to get employees engaged in work at work:
1. Bully for you. Threaten, bully, badger, control, and scare employees into working harder. Fear is your greatest weapon and motivator. Tell employees they have nothing to fear but fear itself, and you, if they fail to get the job done.
2. Wreck-ognition. Forget about recognition, reinforcement or praise. Employees are getting paid, that’s all they need. Trophies are for toddlers. If you must recognize employees buy a box of donuts for dieters or secure preferred employee of the month parking spots for employees who take the bus or subway to work.
3. Busy bees. Keep everyone busy. If anyone pauses to reflect on how they are doing be sure to load three more projects and two more teams on to their work plate. Remind your employees that they are worker bees, and drone on and on about how hard you worked in the old days when you were a mere employee. Your historical and motivational work buzz will be sure to inspire all employees to greatness.
4. Because I said so… Be a master manager of mystery. Don’t ask, don’t involve, don’t empower. If employees ask why they need to do something keep it a mystery and master employees by retorting, “because I said so, that’s why.”
5. What’s his name? No need to learn employees’ names — just yell out, “hey you.”
6. Text trumps talk. Avoid all personal contact with employees. Text trumps talk, email trumps engagement and memos trump meetings.
7. Career development means getting employees’ rears in gear. If employees request career development tell them they are lucky to have a job, tell them to stop talking about work, and tell them to just do it. Swoosh, you can now run off to provide additional dynamic career development coaching throughout the organization.
8. Topple work/life balance. Hang pithy motivational posters around the office. For example get a big framed picture of an employee in his cubicle wearing a crown and another picture of an employee at home in a jester outfit. The employee engagement caption could read: Work Rules – Home Life is for Fools!
9. And the survey says… Limit all employee engagement efforts to a yearly anonymous survey. If you don’t like the results do nothing about them and just repeat the survey again next year.
10. Suck it up buttercup. Manage work like a vacuum cleaner. Suck as much discrentionay effort out of your employees as possible and keep the noise level as loud as a vacuum so that no one can hear themselves think or let other employees know what you are up to. Don’t forget to empty the lint bag!