Q: How do I inspire my team to do work that is basic?  We do pretty routine things, how do I help them exceed expectations?

A:  It sounds like you want your team to be more engaged in the work that they do, even though the work itself may not be that engaging.  Think about ways to tie what they do to something that inspires them.  For example, there is a story about a janitor at a hospital who sees his job as helping patients and families be comfortable so the patients can get better.  By tying meaning to his job of cleaning up and seeing his role as serving a bigger purpose, he brings joy and engagement to his work, and often does things that are outside of his strict job description in order to ensure that people are comfortable.  What is the bigger “why” for your team?  What do you enable to happen for your customers because of the work that you do?  Help your team see who they are helping and how they are contributing. 

Another example is of call center employees who make cold calls for donations to a university.  This is a tough job full of rejection and its hard to keep people motivated.  The leader of the call center brought in one of the recipients of a scholarship made possible by the donations that resulted from the work of the call center team.  This personal story of what the scholarship meant to the student and how it changed a life helped increase engagement and enthusiasm for a really difficult job.  What are ways you can connect to a personal story of a client or another team where the work your group does makes a difference for others?

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