Here are my top ten idiotic, motivation-killing statements.
If I gave you a “five,” you wouldn’t have anything to strive for.
You haven’t been here long enough to get a “five.”
I don’t give “five’s.”
HR requires that I write a justification if I give you a “five.”
Our policy discourages high ratings.
If I gave you a high merit increase, you would think you had it made.
Never let them know you are satisfied with their work.
Others might be envious if I gave you a big increase.
Yes, you did a good job, but this was a team success.
I know your attendance is perfect but we can always do better.
Effective leaders delight in awarding their best producers with high appraisals and merit increases. The result is: high producers strive even harder.
While lesser performers may publicly whine and whimper about their modest increases, they will learn that to get more they have to produce more.
Withholding rewards from high performers based on fear of losing commitment or upsetting slackers makes about as much sense as the late Yogi Berra saying, “No one goes there nowadays; it’s too crowded.”