Without realizing it, you may be reacting to good performance in ways that discourage employees from repeating the achievement.
For example, do you ever “reward” employees who do well on difficult tasks by giving them another tough assignment? Do you assume that workers who come up with good suggestions want the responsibility of carrying them out themselves? Do you sometimes respond to innovation with a wonky rule? (“We need to follow the guidelines here.”)
Here are some tips to keep productive employees from shutting down:
Provide extra compliments to employees who take on difficult or unpleasant tasks.
Offer occasional easy assignments to workers who handle the tough ones well.
When employees come to you with concerns, avoid using the meeting to chew them out for something else.
Pay more attention to your interactions with employees. Classify your actions in each case as positive or negative—from the employee’s point of view.