This is a shame because if people like their job they are almost certainly going to perform better. After all, look what's in it for them:
Not being miserable all day.
Having pride in the job they do.
Wanting to get up and come to work.
Feeling like they are contributing.
Enjoying positive personal interaction.
Not taking their frustrations home.
Hardly an exhaustive list.
So, looked at that way, a manager's job is to make them like their job. A manager's role is to show them that their job matters and, more simply, to show them that they matter. So, how do you do that? Well, first off, people want to be managed as people. Not as pieces on a board, not by HR manual, not as square pegs in round holes, not as underlings, nor as an inconvenience nor as an interruption to your real work. So, if you want to make a meaningful difference to your team members, and you do, you need to treat them like human beings. And this takes time. Managing people takes time. Senior management teams need to realise this, and not just about their wider business but about their own teams also. Managing people is not something you fit in around all the other stuff. All the other stuff is what you fit in around managing people.
Basically, to continue to flourish, people need to be engaged, to feel that what they are doing has a point. Getting people engaged is not mechanical. It's human, emotional and immediate. One way of getting someone engaged is getting them to think of how they would be able to say they are doing a good job day to day. And this will differ from individual to individual even if they are doing the same job. And it will change over time. But there needs to be a sense of daily accomplishment of some sort. This will require some form of measurement. But the right sort. Lots of data is important to a company – long-term reporting, planning, strategy, macro-level numbers. But often that data is of no use in helping individuals to tell whether they are doing a good job or not. Something more subtle is required.
And people need feedback about how they are doing and they need it in a format that engages them personally. That feedback needs to be specific and objective and ongoing and preferably informal.
People in a team also need to understand that other people rely on them: Their team members who need them present and performing; their customers who rely on them, and so on. And perhaps most of all, you as a manager rely on them. They need to know that you rely on them. Remember that you are only a manager because you can't do it all yourself. So you are utterly reliant on these people. Shouldn't they know this? Shouldn't you be thanking them when they come through for you? Remember your job is to show them how their job matters, and often their job matters because it helps you, their manager.
And it's not about forcing someone to be engaged. But there should be an expectation that they are. In other words, they can't stay here if they aren't.
In spending time managing people properly you are going to get to know them very well, and their lives and struggles outside of work. In fact if you don't really know your staff you aren't managing them. This is really what we mean by treating them like human beings. Many managers struggle with this. They have an obstacle to their own competence in that they aren't very people-orientated, not very interested in other people. Often they are more attracted to, and better at, other parts of their job. Some can learn and adapt. Some don't want to. Some can't. Those who won't or can't should not be managing people.