Bored employees, is your team part of them?

Boredom in the workplace

Do you have bored employees? How often you hear your kids saying they are bored?  All the time, right?  Not only do kids get bored, adults too. Often, they don’t say it. However, their actions are a reflection of it.  

The 2016 Workplace Boredom Study by Udemy for Business indicated that 43% of US office employees are bored. Moreover, they mentioned that boredom is a leading indicator of disengagement.  What are the causes of boredom?  What can you do to fight against it? 

Why people get bored? 

Monotony is probably the most known cause of boredom. Repetition or lack of interest in a task cause boredom. Personality and personal traits determine how well people react to boredom. Some people need more novelty or variety than others. Therefore, they have a higher risk of apathy. Besides, people with attention problems also tend to boredom.

Lack of flow is another cause of boredom. Shahram Heshmat, in a 2017 post in Psychology Today, talked about task flow. He indicated that flow occurs when a person’s skills match the environmental challenges. It also happens when a task includes clear goals and immediate feedback.

Reasons for workplace boredom

The top two reasons why employees feel bored at work are lack of opportunities to learn new skills and unchallenging work.

The Udemy study that I mentioned before noted as a takeaway the following. “The biggest driver of engagement is an employee’s personal view of their future. Today’s workers desire to be more involved in shaping their own experience in the workplace. Business and HR leaders must help people envision their future career and learning path in order to effectively engage them“.  

This is how you can fight boredom in the workplace.

Doesn’t that Udemy takeaway, remember you the continuous improvement tenet Respect for People? As servant leaders, our job is to create a culture of respect. Within it, we help the team to flourish and be what they can be. You do so by providing opportunities to develop their skills and get better jobs.

Empower your team to take control of their tasks and workplace. Do it by facilitating and supporting collaboration, learning, and personal development.  Provide a learning environment where employees feel comfortable exploring and testing new things. Finding ways to do their job and improve their work conditions becomes a challenge. Therefore, they have a focus, a purpose, or a challenge that keeps them engaged.  

Take time to know each person in your team. When you do, you can recognize characteristics that make them prone to boredom. As a result, you can create individualized development plans.  Get to know your team members’ aspirations and personal goals. Also, try to encourage them to work towards their achievement.

Everybody feels boredom sometimes, but we can fight it most of the time!

Reference:

Heshmat, S. (2017, June).  Eight Reasons Why We Get Bored:  Boredom can be viewed as a crisis of desire.  [Blog post] Accessed 11.18/2020.  Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201706/eight-reasons-why-we-get-bored

(Udemy for Business). 2016 Udemy Workplace Boredom Study.  Accessed 11/18/2020.  https://research.udemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2016-Udemy-Workplace-Boredom-Study.pdf

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