There are many employees that basically motivate themselves. They come to work and get the job done without a manager having to say a word. Even so, these employees should not be ignored or left alone without someone noticing and praise from the manager. We should never assume these employees don’t need anything.
It’s other employees that are the challenge. What about the employee that is always late? How many times is this allowed or not addressed? This really should be confronted upon the third time in a three month period. The employee is moving to unacceptable performance and should be reminded of this. Also, records will need to be kept to let the manager know it needs to be addressed. And if it keeps happening – the employee is risking losing the job.
What about the complainer? This is an employee where it seems nothing is right. The employee may even do a really great job yet still let the unhappiness be known constantly. Do you as the manager ignore this? That probably won’t solve a thing and this employee does bring down others. This needs to be talked about with the employee. Is this how the employee wishes to be perceived? Maybe the employee needs some extra help where the Human Resources department could suggest avenues. A discussion about what the employee is trying to accomplish is probably beneficial.
What about the jokester? Everything is funny and loves to play games. Still gets work done, but at times the jokes go too far. This is also a discussion and I would approach it from the perspective of the people watching these jokes or games. Make the employee aware that it is not always a good impression. Still there is time for a little fun but the moments need to be picked. When the work is heavy is probably not a good time for jokes.
Many times when there is undesirable behavior, the initial tendency is to ignore it. Not bad if it’s a one time or unusual occurrence but once a pattern starts it needs to be addressed. Keeping the team on track.