Monday, 27 July 2009

Beating boredom at work

Here at Maven we always make sure that staff are not bored with what their doing – we believe in constant challenge and innovation! So it was not a surprise to us to learn from this month’s issue of Professional Manager Magazine that bored, disengaged and disenchanted employees can cause serious consequences to the organisation.

Organisations that don’t offer opportunities for control by their workers are putting themselves at risk of their staff feeling, well, bored and tired.

Contrary to popular belief, boredom is NOT the result of having nothing to do – it stems from a situation where none of the possible things a person can realistically do appeals to them. Research suggests that the most boredom-inducing parts of a job are those that are repetitive and routine or that under utilise the skills or abilities of an individual.

How can an organisation beat boredom, then?

Some simple steps can go a long way. Giving employees control and autonomy over their work will help them feel more responsible for it, more trusted by the organisation and, therefore, more appreciated – and it’s a well-known fact that people like to make their superiors proud, so they’ll work with more excitement and be less prone to not caring about what their doing. Avoiding or minimising ‘scripted’ repetitive work also helps – allowing creativity to flow will help keep your staff motivated! Long, pointless meetings can also be exhausting – keep your get-togethers to a necessary minimum, stick to the planned agenda, work on pragmatic briefings and make sure everyone understands what you expect from them. Allowing better work conditions also works a treat: background music and the ability to schedule one’s priorities have been ranked high by employees in search of a nicer office life.

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