To start with, it's tough to boss people around. Some workers are attitudinal, some are just lazy, while others are neurotic, over- or under-conscientious or have other things going on in their lives that appear to be more important than the job they're being paid to do.
The first step is to hire employees very carefully. Finding talent that is not overpriced, over confident and overqualified or the reverse is the first challenge. Being sure they reside in the realm of reality and checking their work history are paramount.
Hiring young people, means restocking the staff often. Older people are sometimes over-qualified and expect higher wages plus there's the healthcare pool concern. Older people are more likely to need expensive healthcare. But older workers are more likely to know what to do in new situations, where young people fall short. Older people are usually more loyal and have a better work ethic also. (Yes, this writer is an older worker).
Teaching workers how to work with you is key to organizational success. Once employees are hired, there is still the chore of getting them to do what you want, how you want it. By investing time with employees, you are more likely to get what you want from them.
Find a happy medium in management style. If employees are left to twist in the wind because their boss didn't give them enough direction, there is likely to be some personal interpretation of the job duties. On the flipside, the micro-manager boss doesn't give the employee any freedom to improvise as necessary and doesn't let the employee take ownership of the job. Allowing the worker to take responsibility, frees up the supervisor's time and contributes to the worker's success, thus success for the organization.
There are many ways to motivate employees. Fear seems to be the first choice in the current job market. However fear does not usually produce desirable results. It makes people play it safe and not step outside the lines to innovate or rise to challenges, such as sales quotas.
Fear also causes workers to be more competitive and less cooperative with coworkers, often doing things that are counterproductive to the company's objectives.
Two-way dialogue is important to help keep workers motivated and aware of the expectations. Evaluate employees based on their productivity and other factors, such as overall contribution and achievement, not just sales quotas or other numbers.
Another contributor to worker productivity is an enjoyable work environment and healthy company culture.