I hear a lot of managers worry about how to motivate people. I don’t think you can motivate people… people create their own motivation. But you can de-motivate people and unfortunately, too many managers do.

Here are some of the de-motivators I see:

  • Certificates, awards, ceremonies, and other forced fun
  • Relentless deadlines
  • Micromanagement
  • Withholding information
  • Not making time to meet with people individually on a regular basis
  • Taking a one-up position
  • Ranking
  • Carrying poor performers
  • Treating people as “resources”
  • Dictating rather than including
  • Blaming team/system problems on individuals
  • Saying one thing and doing anotherWhen managers stop de-motivating, people find their own intrinsic motivation.Here’s an HBR article that outlines actions to create a motivating environment. I’ve also written a bunch about management action to create a motivating environment. Some of the articles are posted on my website (which I’m having overhauled — hope to have a new shiny version with more articles up soonish).