Move Away From Shame-Based Management to Inspire Productivity

John Krautzel
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Some managers erroneously believe that shame-based management is effective, but there are far better management approaches. Although shame-based management forces some employees to shape up, it is a discouraging, belittling experience that rattles most workers and dampens the work environment. Consider some ways to remove poor management practices from your workplace, and replace them with a higher form of leadership to raise productivity.

Value the Opinions of Employees

In a shame-based management culture, employees do not believe their opinions are valued or respected, and this creates a barrier that prevents the flow of information, ideas and solutions among all members of the company. Employees feel dehumanized when they think their boss does not care what they have to say, so they often do not bother to contribute as much as they could. When managers give employees the floor and allow their opinions to be heard, they gain insight from the workers' point of view that can be utilized for strategic planning and decision making.

Reward Employees

If employees believe their efforts or daily contributions will not be recognized, chances are they won’t bother to go above and beyond to meet production goals. Over time, this shame-based management approach causes employees to feel expendable and worthless, and they may even seek new employment. Offering great employees rewards, praise and accolades can lift their spirits and encourage them to become more productive workers for your company. Employees who can look forward to some type of reward when the company succeeds willingly help the company to excel.

Uphold Privacy and Confidentiality

Making an employee feel horrible in front of the whole office is an unprofessional, cruel and bullying tactic in shame-based management, Embarrassing employees can cause them to work slower or stop caring altogether. It is essential to give employees privacy when having a serious or sensitive discussion to avoid cutting down the confidence of the individuals on your team. Never talk negatively about one worker to another, or you can pollute the relationships between co-workers.

Help Employees Improve Their Performance

Bosses who are quick to point out what employees have done wrong without helping them fix it are not effective managers. Instead of simply berating poor performers on your shift, offer training classes and use mentorships to help employees develop their skills and become more productive workers. Provide routine performance evaluations to help employees note their strengths, weaknesses and progress over time. Once employees understand where they need to improve, they can take the steps necessary to grow more efficient at work.

Using shame based-management as a tool to spark employees can cripple the quality of your workforce. Shame-based management can make some workers give up, and it can send adept workers running for the hills because they fear the same repercussions if they make a mistake in the future. Choose to use only enlightened methods for managing employees to raise company productivity and preserve employee morale.


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