By Melanie Astbury, HR Manager for officekitten.co.uk
At Office Kitten we value loyalty more than anything, and strive to keep employees with the company for as long as possible to maintain a high quality workforce. However, after being in any job for a number of years, workers can lose interest in their role. If managers fail to recognise this it can lead to a valued employee leaving for a new challenge.
Here are my tips for spotting a bored worker and how to reignite their interest:
How to identify an unhappy worker.
If you’ve known an employee for a decent length of time it can be very easy to tell when they’re flagging. Have they lost a certain spark? Are they going into their shell more?
Even little things like being quieter and less involved in the social side of the office can be a tell-tale sign that an employee is becoming disinterested. It’s at this point that you need to intervene.
How to approach.
Sometimes an employee might come to you to discuss their future at the company and any difficulties they’re having. However in most cases you will need to approach them. Do so by taking them for a coffee or somewhere informal so they feel comfortable with opening up to you. Talk through how they’re feeling, why they are so valued and why you are committed to ensuring they are happy at work.
You might be surprised to discover the source of their ennui. If they’re feeling slightly under appreciated, or feel that their daily routine is becoming monotonous, discuss what would improve their work life. Listen and devise ways to make this a reality.
Shake things up.
If an employee has been working in the same role on the same tasks day in, day out for several years, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if they feel slightly bored. So give them something to feel excited about and reignite their passion for the business. It may be something as simple as giving them a new responsibility or enrolling them on a course that interests them and will provide them with a new skill.
How about giving them their own project to manage? Giving an employee something to manage from beginning to end can ignite a sense of purpose in them. As well as stretching their knowledge and skill set, they will be given a boost by having something to take ownership of.
Once you’ve decided together what steps are needed to reignite the employee’s passion, it’s your responsibility to see them through. A good way of doing this is to create a development plan. Together, set short term, mid term and long term goals to give them something to reach for. Setting a time span for each goal will give the employee a sense of achievement and progression.
Melanie Astbury is the HR Manager of officekitten.co.uk, supplier of office stationery and office supplies.