Wednesday, December 07, 2016

An Effective Fix for Bored, Disengaged Employees

Chief Learning Officer magazine reported this week on a study by Udemy about boredom and disengagement in the workplace.  The study found that 43% of respondents were bored at work.  80% believed learning new skills would enhance their boredom.  Bored workers were twice as likely to leave the firm.  Females and millennials were more likely than men and baby boomers to report that they were bored at work.  

Why these feelings on the part of so many workers?   People get bored at work for several reasons. First, they are stuck performing the same routine day after day.   People value some variety in their work.   Second, they have no autonomy.   They simply must follow the directives of others, with no ability to suggest and implement better ways to accomplish the organizations's goals and objectives.  Third, they don't understand the big picture.  These workers do not comprehend how their work is contributing to important organizational goals.  The sense of mission is simply not there.   Finally, they are not being challenged.  They are not being asked to learn new skills, take on difficult challenges, and develop personally.  

What's the fix?  Give workers a clear sense of mission.  Show them the importance of their work, how it fits into the bigger picture.  Provide them the autonomy to recommend and execute better ways of getting the work done.  Instill some variety into each person's workweek, so that they are not stuck in a dull routine.  Finally, provide them opportunities for learning and development, through both new challenges on the job or off-line training and education.  

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