Could a lack of meaningful tasks hamper workplace productivity?

Alan Price – CEO at BrightHR

December 09 2015

The productivity puzzle is one of the biggest HR issues to be debated about this year, as employers and business experts alike seek to understand what their business produces and the amount of work it takes to produce it, in an attempt to align their employees with current working practices. Whilst there have been varying arguments surfacing regarding the elements that can affect workplace productivity, one of the components which could be a driving force in decreasing productivity is employees who feel undervalued and underutilised in their role. Realistically, this is something that can easily happen within the workplace, as busy day-to-day schedules take over and employee progression takes a back seat. When projects arrive in their abundance, managers may fall into the habit of assigning tasks based on past precedent, neglecting, albeit not intentionally, to consider how other employees could add value to the project. As a result, certain employees are left with the less desirable duties including chasing content, making phone calls and answering emails. Whilst these jobs represent an important cog in the overall company wheel, the repetitive and monotonous nature of these tasks can leave employees feel deflated and disengaged. It is important for employers and their management teams to understand the fine art of delegation, which involves understanding each employees skillset and trusting in their ability to complete the job at hand. Do you have a member of staff who has been asking for a new challenge, or to try something new? Well don’t ignore this interest, as this could be the very individual who could add a new dimension and value to a project. Furthermore, it will provide the individual with an opportunity to shine, helping them feel like they are contributing to the success of the business. In line with the above, managers shouldn’t feel the constant need to micro-manage every aspect of a project. If managers proceed to do this, it will make employees feel as if they are not trusted, whilst also slowing down any progress that could have been made. A little bit of trust and confidence in your employees’ capabilities goes a long way to enhancing employee morale and satisfaction in the workplace. Not to mention, it will help free up time for management to focus on other areas which require more urgent attention. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer to the productivity puzzle, however there are certain actions employers can implement to encourage a positive shift in workplace productivity. Ensuring your employees feel challenged and engaged at work is one of them. When you think about it, you have already spent a lot of time and resources securing the right talent for your business, so it makes perfect sense for you to keep your employees motivated and happy in their role, for both the sake of the individual and the business as a whole.  

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