It can be a big fear, that you aren’t simply making the most of your employees. And in whatever fashion, whether you aren’t stimulating them enough, or you’re neither currently increasing nor decreasing revenue, but are staying firmly in the middle, this is the sign of a business that is plateauing. You might be running a startup, but you’re too scared to let your employees move up or sideways in the company for fear of it upsetting the balance, but this is the equivalent of loving something too much. Holding it so tightly that it will end up flying the coup the first chance it gets. So, what are the signs of underused employees, and what can you do to fix this?
Now, there is a difference between having an unstimulating day and feeling chronically unstimulated, and can you see the difference in your workers? They may feel every day to do the same work and not be challenged by it, and this can be down to various reasons. But if you’ve kept people in the same role for years, then they’re going to know the role like the back of their hand and have become accustomed to using one set of skills when they are capable of so much more.
Their Responsibilities Haven’t Changed
The importance of growing with a role usually means taking on more duties and expanding your knowledge, making you a better asset to the company, but if everyone has stayed in the same roles for so long, how can they have grown and retained this indispensability? Having new challenges and different things to do, everybody says, is what makes a job interesting. They don’t have to necessarily like the role they’re doing, but if the job is diverse enough so that they feel challenged with an adequate amount of responsibility, this is usually what will keep people invested in a role.
They Rush Their Work
There is a difference between working fast and rushing, of course. And for every business, the hallmark of success is increased productivity, but so people can feel accomplished, they need to face certain challenges. Have you seen people keeping projects on track by being methodical in their work? Or are they always looking for something to do? It’s like in school, you thought that the cleverest person in the class was the one that did their work quickly, which made you rush too. It’s dangerous for people to do their work too fast, because mistakes will be made, and someone will pay the price. It could mean extra time working to rectify these mistakes, and therefore extra money!
They Have Skills You Have No Idea They Had…
And while this is hard to spot from a distance, if you’ve got someone supremely skilled in one area that you may not link to the relevancy of the business right now, but it certainly could be in the future! If you’re not paying attention to your staff, you’re not valuing them enough.
…And They Don’t Have Skills You Want
If your employees don’t have what it takes, do you want to get rid of them and hire a whole new group of people and pay to train them up on the basics? Or are you better off to find a training centre so your employees can get clued up on the skills you need them to have? Soft skills training might sound irrelevant for a lot of people, but it’s the core of getting people to relate and to work together.
So, What Can You Do?
While it’s important for roles to be fulfilled, if you run the risk of people feeling that they are not being utilised in their skills, you are going to lose them. What’s the solution? Well, it’s all about making your employees feel fulfilment. They demand this, and you need to give it to them. If you aren’t making the most of your employees, you aren’t just doing them a disservice, but you’re doing a disservice to your business. If there’s little wiggle room in a small company due to finances, then you need to find up a way to make it so. Speak to them, ask why they’re feeling stagnant? They will probably feel reticent in telling you because of the awkwardness of the circumstances, but you can put out anonymous questionnaires, and at least you will get a sample of what is bringing the employees down. It could be morale, it could be financial, or it could be personal. But if you have employees that are being underused in one way or another, look for these signs and start to make a change.