Inspiring jaded employees, especially those long-term employees who have seen too many scandals and ineffective, overly paid managers, isn't an easy task. It takes a revision in thinking and a dedication to changing a company's culture, as Stever Robbins points out in Inspiring Jaded Employees today on HBS Working Knowledge.

Robbins suggests a CEO or company owner do a few things to turnaround sour employees, including:

  • Making a visible sacrifice for the company good, like cutting your own salary and giving it back to the people who work for you.

  • Discover your employees emotionally important goals by asking revealing questions, like "What's important about the work you do?", and find ways to incorporate them into their jobs.

  • Ask them to describe their perfect jobs, but don't promise anything. Listen for how you might help them achieve it.

  • Be vigilant in helping your employees attain their goals. Be available as a resource, and help them find ways to grow.