The Blog

How To Motivate The UnMotivated In The New Year!

In your business, how motivated are your employees to do their jobs even if they are mundane or get "push back" from their "customers"?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Unemployment is not expected to fall much this year. Not everyone is a perfect fit for the job they have in your company.

I never questioned if I had to get a 9-to-5 job if I could most jobs. But, I have always wondered how motivated I could be to do one job: parking meter enforcement.

I pride myself on helping people in my work. How would I deal every day with issuing parking tickets when I knew that I would always bring an "oh shit" when the car owner came back?

How motivated are these people to do their jobs?

I interviewed parking meter "enforcers" and I was surprised that they found pride in their work. The area that they highlighted most was when they gave tickets to people parked in handicap spaces. Here they really felt they were helping other people by fining those who parked there illegally.

Likewise, other parking meter attendants felt they were raising tax dollars for their city when they gave parking fines.

"It is a person's responsibility to pay the meter and know when the meter expires. If they are late in returning to their car, I feel sorry for them, but they must pay the fine. The meter people are only doing their jobs. "

In your business, how motivated are your employees to do their jobs even if they are mundane or get "push back" from their "customers"?

After hiring the right employee attitude, it is still your job to provide a motivational environment:

1. Ask them to make suggestions to improve their jobs. But, you have to really listen and take action on them. The people that do the job actually will have the best suggestions to improve it if you give the right parameters. Plus, offer a reward.

2. Let them blow off some steam. In all of my companies, there was always a lounge where employees could go if they got frustrated and needed to "kick the cat." If your employees are offsite, establish a protocol where they can go offline for a bit to relieve built-up frustration.

3. Allow a rotation of jobs within a department. This will not prevent boredom but will create better rounded employees. For example, the parking meter attendant sometimes only tickets handicapped spaces -- a source of pride for him. If the job is in the warehouse, people can trade off between unpacking, stocking, picking and shipping so they can understand what the best practices of each position are to make the entire department work better.

4. Catch them doing something right (as Ken Blanchard says). This is one of the best techniques. Managers will get a lot farther with frequent praise then with only criticism.

What jobs in your company could you not bear to do any longer? How do you motivate your employees in your company?