If you have employees who’ve held the same job for some time, it’s likely they’re bored and their job performance is below par. They’re in danger of burning out – and you probably haven’t even noticed. That’s because these bored employees are typically consistent workers, not “problem” employees. Over time, though, their productivity and work quality will continue to decrease – and you’ll begin to notice an increase in errors.
How to Resolve Boredom
There are a few options: you can ignore tired employees and hope the situation improves by itself; you can try to motivate them after determining that the situation is a motivational one; you can educate and/or mentor them; you can reprimand them; or you can fire them.
No matter which option you choose, the process begins by examining the employee’s job description and reporting relationships across the organisational hierarchy. It’s not unusual for the boss to be surprised that the job being performed isn’t in sync with what’s listed on the job description. What’s more, it’s not unusual not to have a written job description in the first place.
If so, the first step in turning around this negative situation is to create an accurate job description. Ask the employee to prepare a written description of what they believe the job entails. This way, you help the employee become invested in the process. This will also help you see opportunities for growth in the position and in the employee’s career path.
Identify Growth Opportunities
Encourage the employee to identify what he or she would rather be doing, and find opportunities for improving their skills. This is motivating because you’ll help your employee see opportunities for professional growth and foster their enthusiasm for work again. Once a clear job description has been created, look for further sources of motivation. Frederick Herzberg, author of The Motivation to Work, says that employees can best be motivated by three techniques: job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment.
The first tactic, job rotation, involves teaching employees each other’s jobs. So, for instance, in your finance department, your accounts payable people can learn the accounts receivable function and vice versa. The process of job rotation is motivating because the additional tasks are new and different and employees feel a sense of achievement. The value in cross-training for you is that individuals can fill in for each other during illness or holidays, further increasing their sense of accomplishment and value.
The second source of motivation that Herzberg refers to is job enlargement. In this technique, employees are given a wider breadth of tasks and responsibilities within their own job. Using the previous example, your accounts receivable employee may increase the number of accounts they’re responsible for or be in charge of more names in the client list.
The third technique is job enrichment. With this approach, you’d increase the depth of your employee’s responsibilities, not by increasing the number of tasks but by increasing the complexity of the tasks. Again, in the finance example, you could increase the amount of authority the employee will now have. Instead of being given more accounts to be in charge of (job enlargement), your accounts receivable employee could now be in charge of follow-up on the calls, talking to bill collection agencies,and designing work flow issues.
It’s a Simple Process
An effective job description can increase motivation and performance while increasing an employee’s job responsibilities.This is clearly a win-win situation.