Boredom - Can You Spot It In Your Key People?

Is boredom one of the main reasons employees leave an organisation?

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I read an interesting article whilst on holiday recently (no I was not bored) written by a Professor from INSEAD entitled ‘In Praise of Boredom'

Through experience, I know that one of the main reasons good solid employees leave an organisation is because they have become bored with their role.

They can be your best people and great at their job, the backbone and the engine room of the business - so good in fact that they appear to need little managing and we just let them get on with it in the knowledge they are doing a great job and are low maintenance.

There is great danger in not recognising boredom in your key people as articulated in Professor Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries’s excellent article ‘Boredom can lead to a desire to change the present situation and search for alternatives’ and of course that has never been easier for those bored key players that are now working from home.

We must recognise that even our best people need new challenges and stimulation and we should have methodologies to address this, after all, we can't promote everyone to give them new stimuli and challenges.

Good management and regular open 121s should help highlight those individuals who have become bored in their roles and need new stimulus - but that is not always the case.

So why not recognise that occasionally all employees, even key employees, become bored, and put plans in place to address this and stretch and stimulate them?

This need not involve great expense but it can reinvigorate people and enable you to continue to get the best out of them.

Simple Examples include:

  • Give them an occasional project to take them out of their comfort zone and show that you value them, examples might include: Researching a new product service or opportunity.
  • Including them in interviews, selection, refreshing your office environment etc.
  • Make them a Buddy to a new employee.
  • Give them more responsibility outside their role e.g. get them involved in CSR or charity projects the company may support.
  • Get them to help organise a company event.
  • Give them a project to 'refresh' the office environment.

There are many such ways to stimulate valuable people so don’t be that reactive Business Leader that only recognises boredom when you receive a key player's notice.

Be proactive and recognise that this is a feeling that everyone gets from time to time and try and create methodologies that prevent key employees from taking the nuclear alternative  - pursuing a career path elsewhere!

These are the types of challenges that most growing business leaders face from time to time and that we address in our Pabasso - Peer Advisory Board Associates meetings, if you would like to know more please get in touch.

The link below more eloquently covers the subject of boredom and how this can be a positive rather than a negative.

We currently have a vacancy in one of our Yorkshire-based Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates boards so if you would like to know more about how we at Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates help leaders of established businesses progress through shared experiences, expertise, and support, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

If you would like to know more about how we at Pabasso – Peer Advisory Board Associates help leaders of established businesses progress through shared experiences, expertise and support, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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