If you treat your employees like bad children- untrustworthy, incapable, and undeserving- it is much more likely that they will behave like bad children. You will teach them that they only have the ability to “get by.” Your little faith and lack of trust in them is not exactly an equation for motivation.
If you treat them like good children- praiseworthy, capable, and deserving- they are more likely to behave like good children. They will work to make you happy, they will often reach their quota. And they will always strive to accomplish what is expected of them. They will feel happily entitled to their bonuses and incentives because they will have confidence in having done everything exactly the way you want.
BUT, if you are ever so bold as to treat your employees like adults? You guessed it. They are much more likely to act like adults. They are much more likely to exceed what’s expected and complete work that they are proud of.
Mature adults have integrity and know how to manage time. They take criticism constructively and promote productivity amongst their coworkers. Adults can take the initiative and make their own choices. Even good children need handholding. And while bad children might behave when you are around, when you leave, they will feel the temptation to do all of the things you restrain them from doing.
You might on occasion find a child that, when treated with responsibility and trust, will rise to the role and act like an adult. But you will not find many adults who will be treated like children and still be motivated to act like adults.
So hire adults. Train adults. Cultivate adults.
And you will get adults.