Termination used as motivation

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
Motivating employees who aren't inspired to do their job can be a difficult task, especially when bad attitudes lead to behavioral problems such as chronic absenteeism, tardiness, or insubordination. Some employers may be tempted use the threat of termination as a way of dealing with undisciplined workers. Oftentimes, motivating workers with the fear of being fired just ends up making them feel resentful, which can further contribute to their poor work performance. Furthermore, such drastic measures may not be appropriate in solving the problem. For example, it may not be fair to use a termination threat against a good employee who shows up late a few times because of a personal problem. Employees, generally, will respond more favorably when they feel they're being treated fairly, and not when they're made to feel that they'll be terminated for making one small mistake. Employers, as a result, should make sure their discipline decisions are reasonable and justified. It may be helpful to address the problem clearly to the employee and ask him or her what needs to be done to improve work performance. The employee should also be made aware of both company rules and what disciplinary actions can be taken when those rules are violated. If employees fail to respond to repeated or progressive disciplinary actions, employers may have no option but to fire them.

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