Seeking control over employees is a faulty way of managing the affairs. The correct way should be to control the outcome of the collective efforts of managers as well as the employees. The Management sets common corporate goals and it should ensure the accomplishment of these goals through proper delegation of duties to the employees. Now, instead of controlling them, the management should ensure that the outcome of the employees is controlled towards achievement of common corporate goals. This is usually achieved through proper employee motivation and good HR Policies.
It would be improper to have "control" over employees. Certain amount of autonomy must be given to the employees. However, control may or may not imply manipulation.
Achieving targets or setting goals through employee motivation is NOT manipulation, in fact this is a good technique that common corporate goals are achieved without depriving employees of their autonomy.
NO... if the managers link rewards to productivity, this is NOT manipulation, but a kind of motivitaional and performance linked technique.
Stop gossiping and criticizing other people. This can be hard to do, especially if you have a group of friends or coworkers who like to complain. But if you stop the negative chatter, eventually they will too.
Compliment people when you can. Everyone wants to feel important, so if you can give people specific and honest compliments, you'll have them eating out of your hand. The key here is "honest"--most people know what they do well, and they will spot insincerity and your attempt to manipulate them in a minute....