A sizable percentage of time is wasted attempting to motivate the unmotivatable.
You can try all of the techniques such as praise, fresh assignments, more money and prestige and still get few results.
And when that occurs, what do many managers do? They ladle out more of what they've already been giving in the belief that at some point, the medicine will take and the employee will make a dramatic transformation.
What they are missing is that some people cannot be motivated.
The motivation books and seminars gloss over that fact. They operate with the assumption that there is a magic button that each of us possesses and all the boss needs to do is to discover that button and press.
This simply doesn't work with some people. You will encounter employees who will shun, for whatever reason, the obvious actions that are required for success. They may be suspicious of the world in general or the supervisor in particular. They may question their own ability if they were to gain extra responsibilities. In many cases, they fear success.
You have three choices if these success-shunners are on your team: Keep them, put them in jobs in which no harm can be done, or fire them. In most cases, the latter is the only viable choice. The first is the worst. Keeping the unmotivatable will waste your time, ensure low productivity, and erode morale.