How To Challenge Employees In Low Skill Roles

Steve Jobs once said “Do what you love.”

But a lot of us don’t seem to be taking his advice, with stats suggesting that 80% of us hate our jobs.

In this article, we’re not going to look at why folks hate their jobs. Instead, we’re going to take a look at what you can do as a business owner to keep employees who are in low-skilled roles motivated, challenged and engaged.

It’s a big deal. Some of us work drab jobs that require little brain power, and as a result don’t inspire us. And when this happens, we might not give 100%, which can have a knock-on effect on those around us. Morale drops, and productivity slows down.

Almost 40% of employees admit to wasting at least one hour a day at work on unproductive activities. 29% waste as many as two hours.

We’re going to explore 5 ways you can keep your employees motivated, driven, interested and challenged despite a seemingly monotonous job. And if you can do this, your business as a whole will benefit.

1. Offer a lot of feedback

Imagine being hired by a firm, meeting the boss on the first day … and then never seeing them again?

It’s not good for morale.

When we don’t receive feedback from our managers, supervisors or even our boss, it can have a damaging effect on our motivation. Who cares if we’re doing a good job or not if no one is even noticing?

Moreover, without feedback, an employee can never improve. Instead, they’ll be forced into the repetition of doing the same thing over and over again – including the mistakes and bad habits.

Give your staff the attention they crave. Give them the thumbs up, the thumbs down and tell them what’s working and what isn’t. Communicate!

2. Ask your employees for solutions

Just because someone is working a low-skilled role, doesn’t mean they aren’t smart. On the contrary, they might have better solutions for your company’s problems than you or the managers have.

Sometimes – not always, of course – the best solutions come from the most unexpected places. Sometimes they can come from workers in the trenches.

Asking employees in low-skilled roles for solutions will benefit you, and it will also benefit the employee immensely. It will help to build a stronger relationship between them and the company, and it will make them feel welcome, wanted and needed. These things are super important for morale and motivation.

3. Let employees broaden their job role

Woah. Are we suggesting that you let the workers take over the factory? Not exactly!

A lot of the time – and you might even admit this yourself – business owners aren’t the best at describing job roles and knowing exactly what it is that they want a new member of the team to do.

A copywriter? “Oh, a copywriter just writes … copy.” Not exactly.

Often, an employee in any role has a few skills up their sleeves and can broaden their horizons if you let them.

For example, let’s say that you have a charity event coming up and need some posters and painted walls for it. Instead of seeking outside help right away, ask if your employees would be up to showcasing their hidden talents.

Again, this helps to make employees feel wanted and needed, and it motivates them to push themselves. At the same time, this can only have benefits for your company as a whole.

4. Reward your staff

People like to be appreciated for the hard and good work they put in, and they like to be rewarded.

Those working low-skilled roles like to feel that, in their own small way, they are having a positive effect on the business at large.

So reward them with flex-time, recognition programs, employee discounts – or spontaneous trips to the theme park.

5. Involve your staff in your scheduling

Workers hate it when you don’t give them a proper schedule. It means they can’t make solid plans, and it disrupts their work/life balance. Yet so many low-skilled workers have to “put up” with erratic work schedules.

Apps like Findmyshift makes sure that everyone is on the same page – staff know what they’re doing and when. It’s good for motivation, and its interactive nature helps to connect employees with each other.

Of course, it is up to each employee to stay motivated, driven and productive. But as the stats above show, this can be tricky for those of us in low-skilled roles – especially if they’ve got an absent boss, no communication, and feel isolated and unwanted. So take a bit of responsibility and challenge your employees to always do their best. Your business will reap the rewards.

Alisiana Peters

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.