There Can Be No Motivation without Regulation

accountability constructive feedback employee motivation positive affirmations productivity Jul 02, 2024
Jody Holland Training & Speaking | Leadership
There Can Be No Motivation without Regulation

If you have ever worked in a group project or have been paired up with multiple coworkers to complete a task, then you have likely seen first-hand that not everyone contributes at the same rate. This is sometimes due to a phenomenon called social loafing, which indicates that some people tend to exert less effort when in a group setting than they do on their own because they expect other team members to pick up their slack. The team members that are working hard on the project can become frustrated by this and lose motivation, which is why oversight from management is crucial.

Leaders must establish accountability for their people, both positive and constructive. They do this by creating clear expectations for the team, and they hold everyone to the same standards. When someone does well, they praise them for it and recognize their efforts publicly. When someone is falling behind, they take corrective action to ensure that the person knows how to do the job and in an effective manner. Then, they follow-up with the individual after some time has passed to check if the necessary changes have been made.

When there are no consequences for low producing employees and no incentives for high producing employees, chaos ensues. The more effective employees lose motivation because they feel unappreciated and overworked. On the other hand, those that barely contribute to the organization’s efforts will start to recognize that they can get away with this level of mediocrity and thus will never be motivated to improve. And finally, the individuals that exhibit moderate productivity are more likely to decrease their efforts than they are to increase them because they have seen that other employees still have their jobs even though they don’t work very hard.

As you can see, when leaders fail to hold individuals accountable, there is an organization-wide decrease in productivity and morale. This in turn creates more problems, such as conflict between employees, deadlines not being met, and high producing workers leaving the organization altogether. Leaders play an important role in regulating and maintaining motivation among employees. 

If you ever find yourself in this situation, do you want to be part of the problem, or will you be the solution? If you want to be part of the solution, we can help.


-Meghan Slaughter

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