“What does interest have to do with the behavior of your team members?” I asked. A smile crept across Nathan’s face.
“It’s pretty obvious isn’t it?” he replied. “When someone is interested, they sit up straighter, they pay attention, they have a skip in their step, they ask questions.”
“Is all the work that we do around here, interesting?”
Nathan was quick to reply. “Not really, I mean some things are interesting, but some things are repetitious and only mildly amusing.”
“So, as a manager, how do you keep someone’s interest in a role where the tasks are repetitious and only mildly amusing?”
Nathan had to think on this one. “I’m not sure. I mean it is hard to be interested in some of the assembly work we do.”
“So, if it is difficult to raise someone’s interest, how do you get them to sit up straight, pay attention, have a skip in their step and ask questions?”
Nathan searched his mind for a response, but came up empty. I asked an opposite question. “Let’s look at the other extreme. How do you keep someone from actually resenting the work that you have them doing?”
Nathan’s brow raised, “Well, they do get paid.”
“Yes, but they could take your money and still resent the work that you have them doing?”
“More money?” Nathan floated.
“You could even give them a raise and they might still resent the work that you have them doing? How do you raise the level of interest in tasks that may be repetitious and uneventful? How can you, as a manager, turn the tide of resentment for that type of work?”