Everything not only moves faster (well, except for traffic), it happens in shorter, more condensed bursts. Video and computer games, including those on the omnipresent mini-computer, your mobile, are fast, intense, and over quickly. Texts and tweets have replaced many phone conversations as well as lengthy emails, and emails long ago replaced most lengthy (and slow) postal mail.
Yet the pace at work is generally slow, takes place over long periods of time (8 hours at a work station!), and is mired in convention and paperwork.
No wonder our younger generation of workers are bored! It’s not that they’re spoiled (although we Boomers love to claim that’s the problem), so much as the way their work is structured is the opposite of how the rest of their life goes.
What to do?
Take a page from companies who’ve learned how to make work more interesting with some simple, easy to implement, changes.
Trader Joe’s, for example, a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores, rotates their workers, such that each worker staffs a position for only one hour at a time. So, for example, any given worker will man a cashier stand, stock shelves, and return shopping carts in the course of an ordinary morning.
Not only does this alleviate the tedium standing behind a check stand for eight hours would engender, it means that every worker knows every aspect of the store. Every worker is able to help out with whatever department is most in need at a moment’s notice. And every worker knows every product throughout the store.
Other easy-to-implement ideas: break goals down into smaller, sub goals. Celebrate the accomplishment of small goals loudly and joyously. Actively solicit and put into effect employee ideas for improvement.
Jettison your 20th century operating procedures and adopt 21st century ways of doing things: your business will thank you!