This must be the world’s oldest question besides the whole chicken and the egg paradigm. How do you inspire people to do boring jobs? In the real world, not all of us can do interesting jobs. We can not all be doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs. In fact, most Indian chiefs got out of the market when the business went South a few decades ago. Many of us have to do repetitive phone calls, data entry, check lists, and other boring back office work. So, what is the secret to making it tolerable or even fun.
Many of the larger call centers have mastered this art by having regular competitions, fun activities, and excursions. But, we can’t all do excursions all the time, especially when we are tied down by families.
Keeping the work place fun and positive is a good start. Even if your job is boring, if the job environment is pleasant or fun, that makes it all the better. Contests and competitions make things interesting too. Having group meals can give a sense of belonging as well. Seeing an opportunity for long term career advancement should also be on the horizon. People want to know that they can move ahead in the world. Another motivation technique is to let people know the bigger picture of how important their work is, who it affects and how. Many workers simply have no clue as to how their work affects the world until they screw up and get blamed for inconveniencing 10,000 people in some huge way! It is better to let them know in a positive way before they screw up!
On the other hand, the simple act of appreciation goes a long way. A simple, “nice job!” or other act of recognition goes a long way. A pat on the back (don’t try this in India with the females.) Just don’t get too carried away with the pats or you might go from having unmotivated employees to having sexual harassment lawsuits! Good God!