“I’m not feeling worky today.”
“I’m bored to death, doing the same thing over and over again. I cannot work anymore.”
“I NEED A BREAK!”
Do you overhear such conversations at office taking place quite often? From my personal experience, I say I do. Having been a manager for all these years, I’ve been part of discussions with other managers who think of boredom as nothing but a state of mind. Rather than finding a cure for it the conversations are more centered around forcing the employees to get out of this zone of boredom by burdening them with more work.
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“They get bored because they don’t have work to do.”, said Aron, one of the managers with a large scale IT firm. “Give them more work so that their mind does not wander and they don’t even have time to think of getting bored.”, she concluded.
However, I had a different opinion. According to me burdening employees with more work is the sign of poor leadership and not the solution to kill their boredom. The best way to deal with it is to engage them in doing stuff that kills the feeling of boredom. They are spending the maximum part of their life at work, more than what they are devoting to their family. The least you can do is be creative when it comes to killing their boredom rather than piling them up with more work.
Throughout my experience as a manager and leading a team, I’ve managed to figure out some creative ways to ensure that employees don’t get bored at work. I’m going to share these with you here in the hope that they can benefit your team.
Let their imagination run wild and free
When your mind is free to inculcate creative thinking in whatever you are doing it never gets bored. My first piece of advice, therefore, for every manager would be to not limit the creative potential of their team. Don’t make them machines who are switched on at 9 AM in the morning and continue to run till 6 PM when they are powered off.
Let their creative side come out. Assign them work, but don’t micromanage things. Tell them what to do, and not how to do unless you find they are messing everything up altogether. I’m a believer that a manager’s role in an organization is to not just overlook what people are doing, but to create leaders out of them. By letting their imagination run wild and free, you are inspiring them to enjoy their work. And, when you enjoy your work you never get bored of doing it.
Inspire them to take new challenges
Learning — it never stops. Michelangelo, one of the most renowned names in the world of art, said at the age of 87 — I’m still learning. That’s the kind of attitude which makes people achieve greatness. As a manager you must inspire your team members to increase their knowledge by learning something new at every stage of their career.
Promote the opportunities in your team to enrol in online courses so that they can learn a new skill that can be added to their resume. Continue to inspire them about upgrading their knowledge so that they don’t lag behind in the competition. When employees know they are learning something new to furnish their skill set, chances of them getting bored are minimized automatically.
‘Know thyself and others around you’
That’s what you should tell them. Altruistic behavior makes human being different from other animals. We are social beings, shouldn’t we behave like one? The point I’m trying to make here is that when you are working as part of the team you must be aware of what others are doing as well. So, when they are bored of their work, inspire them to not stay confined to their desk.
Build a culture where they can go and communicate with anyone and everyone. They can walk around the office and get to know about what’s happening at other people’s desk. This will not only help in creating a more aware workforce where employees know each other’s working areas, but will also promote more team interaction and friendly behavior. All this in turn will lay the foundation of a strong team, which can flourish in all conditions.
Anticipate, appreciate and cultivate
Anticipation of ‘WHAT NEXT?’ can take you places. When people start anticipating what they are going to have served up next on their platter to work on, they will start preparing for it beforehand. This will help to strike off tasks from their list on time, as they will not be waiting for the work to first come and then start preparing for it.
Anticipation is going to be from their part, but for you as a manager it is imperative to appreciate that effort and cultivate those team members to create future leaders. Let them know how valued their efforts are by showering words of appreciation. Never shy away from giving them due credit for their work, as it will inculcate the feeling of proud in them. After all, who does not like getting appreciated from their manager?
The list is not fairly long, but it’s surely worth every second you have spent reading it. I can say it with confidence because this is exactly what I’ve been using to keep my team going strong here at ProofHub.
Give them a try and be rest assured that you will have a more productive team, with the feeling of boredom become an obsolete word for them!
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Originally published at LinkedIn.com
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Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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