We’re all looking for the magic key to managing employees. But despite all the support, the benefits, the encouragement … they never seem to care as much about the business as you do.

That’s natural. They haven’t poured their heart and soul into it for as long as you have. And, if you’re the owner, you may have your entire life savings tied up in this.

But it is possible to tap that energy, that passion, that caring.

Look at why people engage in clubs and projects and causes outside work. They’re putting in extraordinary energy, often even paying to engage. Not getting paid.

So motivation really isn’t about pay and benefits. That’s necessary, sure, but it rarely pulls out any passion or high levels of productivity.

But you do see it sometimes. That barista who always seems to have a smile on her face, and raises your spirits too. That employee who goes out of his way to fix a system that’s holding the group back, just because it’s the right thing to do.

I was talking today with the guy who does the yearly maintenance on my lawn tractor. He clearly loves his work, and takes joy in undoing whatever damage I’ve done to it over the last year. The cost is quite fair, not exorbitant. He’s honest and helpful.

He’s doing it because he loves the work. I would guess that his mission in this work is simply “fix lawnmowers and make homeowners happy.”

It’s not an earth-shattering mission, nothing you’d see in a business magazine. But it’s plenty to keep him engaged and serving his customers 200%.

Do you know what engages this kind of passion for each of YOUR employees?