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Motivate employees in those ‘dumb jobs’

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in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,People Management

frustrated workerHow do you get peak performance out of employees working in jobs they think aren’t worth their time?

You know those jobs: The ones that make a person feel that anyone off the street can do them, and the tasks don’t seem to add anything to the organization’s bottom line.

Such mismatches often require acting on both halves of the equation: Improve the employee’s morale while also improving the job itself. Some tips to consider:

• Improve the employee’s morale.

If he’s truly overqualified in every way for this position, he shouldn’t be in it, and you should help him look for promotions, or even opportunities elsewhere.

An investment of your energy in his career development will likely be returned in his commitment to performing well in his current position.

More commonly, a worker in a “dumb job” may have the education but not the experience to obtain better employment. In this case, point him to career-building opportunities—like taking on special projects, receiving advanced training or joining a professional network. These activities can help supply what he feels his actual job lacks—and, again, pay off for you in improved productivity.

• Improve the job itself.

Likewise, if a job is truly so “dumb” that nobody would find it satisfying, it’s not worth your time to fill it, since what you’ll get is one dissatisfied worker after another. Eliminate the job and distribute its duties to other workers, and invest the money you save in their compensation and in team resources.

More likely, the position doesn’t involve enough autonomy and responsibility.

Never let yourself believe that just because an employee is “just” a (fill in the blank), she can’t be trusted to assume management responsibilities and identify improvements.

It may turn out that a creative employee can find ways to turn a “dumb job” into a vital and efficient part of your workplace.

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