The next time you feel a particular employee is not giving their best, invite them to the board room, draw the blinds, set up a big projector and slot in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.
You see, in the employment world, we don't always go where we love, sometimes we take jobs ranked Z on our list(A-Z in line of most and least desirable)but as long as it pays the rent, why not! We even fantasize we may grow to like the job. That is how life is. And since most employers have been employees before (entrepreneurs inclusive) it should not be hard for you to realize someone is just growing older on your premises and getting away with doing as little work as they possibly can. Hence the movie.
I only mean to use the movie as a motivational tool, so take it as such. I know there in are some romance scenes; we shall ignore them this time.
Let your choice employee sit close enough in order not to miss the dialogue, especially between Andrea (employee) and Miranda (boss). A lot of employees miss to understand that their employers have needs too, like getting as much work done with as little resources as possible. That they also watch the bottom line, so you can have your rent money at the end of the month. But because it is none of your business, you reason, you may instead put forward the fact that after all you did not want the job that much, you are only here till your favorite job comes along.
It is the responsibly of he entrepreneur/team leader to use whatever resource they have to the maximum, this includes employees however sick- in -attitude they may be or unwilling to be useful. Just like Andrea, they may actually despise your type of work, or the company where they have come. That is not your concern either. Now that they are here, work must go on. If you have tried all types of positive enforcement and you have failed, let them ‘act’ the movie only as a last resort. Role play is good for the memory, ask the army. (Why did you think they were watching it in the first place? For entertainment?)
Pushing an employee too hard with almost impossible assignments gets you to know who to keep and who lose. People react differently under pressure (including work pressure) but they are unlikely to react with afterthought. You get to see who they really are at the core. At this point, you could even role play a little, like getting them to secure you a flight to South Sudan Independence celebrations a few hours before the National anthem. It seems very hard, but it is not impossible. By the end of the assignment you will know who exactly you are dealing with. Just how hard can they go if pushed!
You may also be surprised to know that the reason, said employee is sitting on his laurels is just because there was no reason to do better. They may even do impossibly well to get you off their back. But at least you will have learned two important lessons, how does their attitude pan out and just how hard can you push them to deliver. You may be surprised you have an achiever in your hither to celebrated office slob.
I admit, this is a really cruel way of find talent and un developed potential, but life is lived in raw form and people, like clay, are raw material to achieve better and grander creations.
By the end of the movie, you employee would have realized that there are people out there who perform under pressure, even unwillingly, and they have supporters. But they would also have realized that they have to make a choice, either to adapt or to move out (after a few sessions of crying their lungs out and calling you some un mentionable names of course).
Lesson to them, like Andrea be even more surprising.They can actually do better than they ever thought (like when she gets the unpublished manuscript for Miranda's twins, surprising even the boss herself).More importantly, they will have known that life is full of choices, and every single moment we choose what we want. If they leave, you have one less headache; if they stay, you have just polished up a new diamond formerly in the rough, and they will owe you for along time.