Promote Learning to Curb Boredom

Want to engage the 43 percent of office workers who are currently bored at work? Teach them something they can use on the job or in their career.

co_1118_fte_origWhat’s the best way to keep your employees engaged? Keep them learning.

According to a Udemy study on workplace boredom released last month, 43 percent of office workers are bored, especially women, millennials and entry to midlevel workers.

This spells trouble for employers because disengaged workers are not only less efficient, they are twice as likely to find a new job.

But don’t worry — it’s not all gloom and doom. There are ways to engage employees and get rid of that boredom. For instance, for millennials, talent leaders can start by redefining job descriptions. Emphasize the skills required for the job as well as skills that will allow them to grow in their career. Then they’ll have a better idea what kind of learning and development they may need.

“Job descriptions are quite broad and inaccurate, and that doesn’t mean much to millennials,” said Debra Steele, director of marketing and communications at CAEL, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

The Udemy study also found that “millennials are nearly two times as likely to be bored at work than baby boomers.” But that doesn’t mean baby boomers don’t get bored, too.

Older employees, especially those who have held the same position at a company for years, have the mindset of, “I don’t have to learn, but I would still like to,” Steele said. One way learning and talent leaders can engage older employees is to introduce them to new areas within the company, perhaps in business units they never considered.

Another way to curtail boredom is to make employees feel valued. More companies are using mentoring programs that connect older employees with new or prospective ones to develop needed skills, ensure knowledge transfer and promote engagement. This benefits the new employees because they get access to more seasoned, experienced talent, and they may get some insight into what a more senior position is like on a day-to-day basis.

By teaching younger employees what they need to know to successfully handle their responsibilities and duties, older employees may feel a sense of pride, and realize the work they do is truly important to the company as a whole.

Alice Keefe is an editorial intern for Chief Learning Officer. To comment, email editor@CLOmedia.com.

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