Fear-based motivation can feel like an oxymoron but really, fear is an effective catalyst for motivation. For example, if your boss tells you to get your project done on time or you will lose your job. Do you think you will motivated? Or will you drag your feet? My best guess is that you’re going to do everything in your power to get the project done. You may resent your boss for doing this But you are probably going to do as he or she wishes unless you are looking to get fired.
Another situation where fear will motivate you is when something crucial breaks in your home. It could be your furnace giving out in the middle of winter. You are at a point where you have no choice but to call for expensive repairs. If you don’t, you’ll risk the pipes freezing and being uncomfortable.
As a business owner, take a moment to think about how you motivate your employees. We all have a certain amount of fear-based motivation. But, is it the best way to get your people to do things? In the case of the furnace, you’ll have no choice and have to chalk it up to being a part of life. But, in the case of your boss harping on to you, is there a better way for him or her to handle the situation? Can you continually work in an environment based on that kind of fear?
What if you were the boss? How successful do you feel you would using this tactic of motivation?
Is it Sustainable Though?
It’s questionable whether motivation based on fear is sustainable. If you are an employee and there aren’t many jobs available as alternatives. You may feel like you have no choice but to comply. But, sometimes, this kind of negative working environment gets people more motivated to get out of the situation. In other words, the motivation tactics may work in the short-term. But eventually, employers may experience a high turnover when those employees recognize there are other choices. This is where internet is a great equalizer. More people can choose to freelance on their terms.
There’s an old saying about how you catch more flies with honey. As the leader, can you recognize you could improve the loyalty out of your people by offering incentives. By using scare tactics to get your employees to do the work, you may experience a higher turnover. Unfortunately, there are managers who do use scare tactics and learn this until it’s too late. And even then, will they make any changes? Often, they make the justification that it’s the employee’s fault and they decided to leave.
Think about the impact you can have if you try to motivate your employees. If you have used fear as a motivator, is it something that has worked for you in the long-term? Or, did you simply set an environment where people couldn’t wait to get away?
Share in the SpringBoard group what other ways you have motivated your employees. We would love to hear it. .
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