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Beating the Odds

How to Kill a Team’s Spirit

If you’re a coach, teacher or boss, here’s a sentence that may predict whether your team wins or loses:

“In 85 percent of companies, employees’ morale significantly drops off after their first six months on the job, according to a survey from Harvard Management Update.”

Those words come from an article called “Eight Surefire Ways to Demotivate Your Employees,” on the web site of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Read that sentence over and over and think what it means. A drop in morale could translate into less work, less creativity, less of everything your team needs to prosper.

That means motivating people may be the most important thing you do. But how? You can start by not demotivating those on your team. Public criticism is a killer, and ranks first on the list of de-motivators. “Pointing out a worker’s mistake in front of others rarely yields a good response,” the article says.

“Failing to provide praise” comes next on the list, with “Not following up” landing in third. Take a look at the eight, and pick one to fix right now. You will soon be beating the odds with a team that’s ahead of the 85 percent with sinking morale.


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