Proper Training and Its Affect on Staff Motivation

April 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

How to hold staff accountable and maintain good human relations



Responsible to someone or for some action

Good human relations

The ability to get along with other people

In this article we will briefly look at and discuss how the two come together

When a person doesn’t perform to the level of expectation or does not follow through on commitment this can often lead to the manager becoming frustrated and lead to a breakdown in good human relations between the manager and member of staff.

In some cases the managers expectations of the staff member will become diminished and s/he will expect mediocrity as a norm (for a quiet life), which probably means that in the long term the member of staff will fail as an employee.

For example the staff member is a sales representative and for weeks or even months does not hit their sales targets until it reaches a stage the sales manager does not expect the sales representative to reach their targets.

Power of expectation

Extract from Pygmalion in Management

Some managers always treat their subordinates in a way that leads to superior performance. But most managers, like Professor Higgins, unintentionally treat their subordinates in a way that leads to lower performance than they are capable of achieving. The way managers treat their subordinates is subtly influenced by what they expect of them. If managers’ expectations are high, productivity is likely to be excellent. If their expectations are low, productivity is likely to be poor. It is as though there were a law that caused subordinates’ performance to rise or fall to meet managers’ expectations.

A manager often communicates most when s/he believes s/he is communicating least;

For instance when s/he says nothing, when s/he becomes cold and uncommunicative it usually is a sign that s/he is displeased by a subordinate or believes s/he is hopeless. The silent treatment communicates negative feelings even more effectively at times than a tongue lashing does.

What seems crucial in the communication of expectations is not what the boss says so much as the way s/he behaves. Indifferent and noncommittal treatment more often than not, is the kind of treatment that communicates low expectations and leads to poor performance.

How then are we to hold people accountable and maintain good human relations in our business?

A starting point is to agree on what the member of staff should be held accountable for.

The staff member’s job description will have most of that information.

The next step is to discuss and agree the expectations and responsibilities that go with that position

  • Find out what the member of staff wants – goals or expectations?
  • Find out has s/he got family support or are there any personal problems that would effect standards of performance?
  • Explain your expectations, standards – tell them that you expect them to do their best
  • Determine a game plan – month, quarter, year etc
  • Tell them you have confidence in their ability to get the job done
  • How can I help you
    • Discuss where they feel they need the most help
  • Follow through

Training and motivation

In holding people accountable the worst form of motivation is fear, nobody works well under the threat of their job and usually good human relations will determine to the point where the member of staff quits or you follow through on your threat.

Conversely people do feel when they know what is expected of them (standards of performance), regular evaluation meetings (monthly) are good because not only are you able to evaluate results on a regular basis but you can also agree the

  • Objectives
  • Plans
  • Activities

For the following month (review – preview), spend less time on review than preview and you cannot do anything about what is already in the past – learn from the past and build for the future.

If a person isn’t following through on a commitment on a regular basis it means that either:-

  • They cannot do their job
  • They are not motivated to do their job

  1. They cannot do their job

This will normally apply to new members of staff, find out where s/he needs help, get involved and follow through with action.

Most influential manager

Extract from Pygmalion in Management

An employee’s first manager is likely to be the most influential person in their career. If this manager is unable or unwilling to develop the skills the employee needs to perform effectively the latter will set lower standards for themselves than s/he is capable of achieving, their self image will be impaired and s/he will develop negative attitudes towards their job, their employer, and in all probability their career in business. Since their chances with their will decline rapidly, s/he will leave, if s/he has high aspirations in the hope of finding a better opportunity. If on the other hand their manager helps the employee achieve their maximum potential s/he will build the foundation for a successful career.

  1. They are not motivated to do the job

Somehow the individual has lost their way; they will almost certainly have no meaningful goal or may have list enthusiasm for the job.

This probably hasn’t happened suddenly, possibly should have been arrested earlier, but if you are in this situation the following course of action should be taken:-

  • Hold a career interview
  • Determine what the problem is
  • List down all of the things s/he likes about the job
  • List what they are finding difficult (usually what they don’t like doing)
  • Tell them you value them as part of the team
    • If you feel the interview is going positive and you feel the employee would like to be back on track
  • Express confidence in their ability to turn things around, remind them of their past achievements
  • Ask where they need help
    • Get involved
    • Follow through


If you feel after the interview there has been no progress or change in attitude or commitment, you may have to make a decision to employee as to keep a person on the team with no commitment could effect the commitment and support you get from other employees.

However in coming to a decision you would want to be absolutely sure that this is a last cause.

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