It’s not a big stretch to say that most, if not all companies have had employees who have simply gotten bored with their work. For a lot of people, the feeling eventually comes even if they’re doing a good job, especially if they have been doing it for a long time. Although some employees get over their momentary feelings of boredom through their own, it can be quite the problem if they don’t.
You might not be able to notice it at once, as a bored employee’s productivity doesn’t always translate to an immediate and precipitous drop. It can even be worse if that one person has been consistent for the most part because you probably aren’t checking in too often with his/her work. It might come as a surprise to you that you’re faced with a burnt-out employee that barely gets anything done, but that problem could have been festering for months.
To prevent such a situation from happening, here are steps you can take to getting your workforce out of the rut and back into action.
Talk to Them
The very first thing you should do with your bored employees is to open up lines of communication. You need to be able to know what it is that is keeping them from having a fulfilling experience at work before you can apply the appropriate solutions.
Set up a meeting where you can discuss their current working conditions freely. You will have to let them feel comfortable enough to share their misgivings. Coming into the conversation with an accusatory demeanor and ready to reprimand might make them sidestep the real issues and just nod along to whatever you are saying. This fixes nothing, and the employee might even feel less motivated afterwards.
Assign New Tasks
Routine jobs that don’t require much creativity or critical thinking can get real boring real fast. If your employees are doing the same thing over and over again for some time and you notice that their productivity has slowed down, it’s time that you shake things up by giving them something new to do.
Of course, you still have to consider their official job descriptions and what they expect to do before you make them handle anything that might not be the best fit for their current skill level. But as long as it falls in line with the spirit of what they are supposed to be doing for the company, don’t be afraid to give them new responsibilities. It can work as showing them that you have confidence in their abilities, while challenging them to improve the quality of their work.
Sometimes boredom in a daily routine can be avoided by giving your employees different and more efficient ways to handle their jobs. Organizing a workshop will provide them with just those methods while also serving as a productive break in between regular office hours.
Workshops can also empower your employees. The skills that they acquire and the ones they already have that are sharpened can open up more opportunities for career growth, whether it’s in your business or in any of their future endeavors. This makes them feel that you do care for them and how they’re doing, seeing as how you are investing time and money in training them.
Upgrade the Office
Going to a drab, colorless, and cramped office can be just as much as hindrance to productivity for some employees. A dirty bathroom, unwashed dishes piling up in the pantry, lights that start flickering after a couple of hours, and workstations that are way too close to each other can all add up to miserable working conditions.
And even if there are no glaring flaws with how your office space is set up, a sterile and simply functional design can still suck the life out your workforce, especially if you’re in an industry that demands creative thinking.
If you have the resources, consider having the office refurbished. When productivity is at stake, don’t be afraid of spending money to improve it. You don’t have to get everything done all at once. You can stagger the upgrades to keep your budget in check.
Boredom is something that affects many workplaces. However, the problem of motivation if left unsolved can lead to bigger decreases in productivity and a higher churn rate. Take the initiative by communicating with your employees, improving their work environment, and developing their skills.