“Cyber – slacking” is a big and growing problem. It is estimated that more than 10 hours per week is spent on Facebook and other social media “diversions”. How do you put a stop to it?
- Your IT department may want to install some sophisticated new monitoring software.
- Your CEO may want to set more ambitious goals.
- Your managers may start patrolling behind people’s desks.
But there is a much easier solution – make the job more interesting.
Hackman and Oldham, have a job characteristics model which makes jobs less boring and slack inducing. It has five characteristics:
People experience more meaningfulness in the jobs when they require a greater range of skills and more ability, than for tasks that are routine and simple.
Being able to see the outcome is very important. For example, seeing the whole car that you’ve made, rather than just the door you’ve attached gives far greater satisfaction, and engagement. This may not always be possible – but a good manager will know how to help their staff chart visual milestones towards completion. Just get a scale, and mark progress towards completion on the scale somewhere publicly visible.
A task that contributes to the physical and/or psychological well-being of others is more meaningful, and therefore engaging, than one that isn’t.
Giving your staff, independence and discretion for how they plan and complete their job increases, there initiative and effort. Stick to the “what” needs to be done, and leave the “how” up to them. This is always a personal favourite of mine – when a manager issued a directive for “how” to complete something I was always tempted to say, “then do it yourself”.
Clear, direct and frequent feedback on their effectiveness and their progress (see 2 above) is essential and serves both to help staff orientate themselves, and to stay, engaged.
Those of you who will have followed the work of the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - will recognise that a lot of these conditions are the same as those for getting into a state of flow. It may require some reorganisation, or change in your current leadership style – but if it’s going to help keep people on task, reduce turnover and improve performance – give it a shot. It will free up your own time too. You might also like to look at my download “clone yourself – how to create staff as effective as you”. Email me for a copy.
Cris helps organisations create engaged, thriving and vibrant workplaces - and unleashing the Power of Positive Performance People (PoPP), to improve productivity by 30 to 50%. Give Cris a call to help you and your team in your organisation, get more done with less stress (and still get home with something left in the tank at the end of the day). Get in touch +61 438 545 607 or email Cris at firstname.lastname@example.org.