The Washington Post published an interesting story yesterday: "How to completely, utterly destroy an employee's work life."
Teresa Amabile, a professor and director of research at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, a developmental psychologist and researcher, have studied for more than 15 years what makes people happy and engaged at work. In turn, they learned how to keep them unhappy.
The No. 1 way to make employees miserable is to keep them from making progress in meaningful work.
"People want to make a valuable contribution, and feel great when they make progress toward doing so," Amabile and Kramer wrote. "Knowing this progress principle is the first step to knowing how to destroy an employee’s work life."
Another way to wreck an employee's work life is to block progress on projects.
"Every day, you’ll see dozens of ways to inhibit substantial forward movement on your subordinates’ most important efforts," Amabile and Kramer wrote. "Goal-setting is a great place to start. Give conflicting goals, change them as frequently as possible, and allow people no autonomy in meeting them."
If you're truly devious and you want to destroy your employees' work lives, check out the story for more ways to do so.
Have you done these things to your employees (not on purpose, of course)? Have you had these things done to you? Please let us know in the comments.