Challenging Employees—Helping Them Grow and Not Get Bored

Ideas to help employees perform to their highest potential and exceed their own expectations (and yours!).

Being a good manager is one of the most challenging roles a person can take on. In fact, it is so difficult that only about 1 in 10 people possess the talent to manage, according to Gallup.

Perhaps that’s why only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work… But why it is so hard?

A large part of the problem is keeping people truly engaged and motivated. To resolve this issue, managers needs to challenge their employees and help them grow professionally. Otherwise, they’ll just get bored and leave.

Here are some ideas to help your employees perform to their highest potential and exceed their own expectations (and yours!):

1. Begin with Yourself

Your employees are going to look to you to set an example for everyone. So setting the right example can have a meaningful effect on your team. For example, if you stay positive about a challenging project you’re working on, chances are your employees will share the same attitude. 

On the other hand, giving up in the face of challenges is going to demoralize your team and make many of them want to leave.

2. Push Employees Out of Their Comfort Zone

Being in a comfort zone is OK, but it won’t guarantee personal and professional development. For example, by staying in the zone for too long, you’re becoming too complacent and avoid challenging tasks that help you to reach your potential. 

Benefits of stepping out of a comfort zone:

  • Taking risks helps to grow and learn.
  • Challenging can help perform at one’s peak.
  • Trying new approaches and strategies makes one more creative.

Achieving this is impossible without a good leadership, because a leader facilitates all the benefits listed above and enables the employees to take the next step.

3. Mentor Your Employees

To cultivate employees who eventually will work autonomously, you need to become a great mentor. First and foremost, this means coaching your employees by giving them the knowledge that allowed you to succeed. 

“Also, you need to delegate your responsibilities to reliable employees and help them grow as managers, as well,” says Marcus Harwich, an HR manager. “I tend to avoid suggesting goals by myself when I work with employees at my current workplace, a professional writing service. It’s much better to work with everyone collaboratively to define each goal.” 

Remember one thing: Don’t lecture anyone. Think of your communication with your protégés as sharing because, well, you’re not an instructor; your goal is to make the knowledge you possess available to your followers.

4. Have an Open-Door Policy

Your followers will have questions all the time. While answering them sure sounds like a lot, it’s your duty to ensure they don’t store them up for a weekly meeting. If you do, the amount of questions may be overwhelming, and there’s no way the meeting will be productive.

To avoid that, you need to have your door open to encourage regular communication. Besides, employees tend to be more creative and willing to think outside of the box when they feel comfortable with their leaders. 

5. Make Failure a Part of the Learning Process

Your followers are afraid of failure because they don’t want to look bad in the eyes of their manager. However, it’s a known fact that regardless of how hard-working or smart one is, failure is inevitable. 

To make sure people learn from mistakes, they need to be made a part of the learning process of your followers. For example, you as a leader need to frame these situations correctly and let them know you have their back. 

If a failure occurred, it’s important for a leader to discuss it with his or her followers and ensure they perceive it as a learning opportunity. Don’t be overly critical of people who failed because they could learn a lot and be much better next time. 

6. Provide Career Advancement Opportunities

Millennials (workers aged 18 to 35) rank career advancement opportunities higher than work-life balance and compensation, according to a study by Comparably. Given that Millennials will be the largest group in the global workforce by 2025, it is safe to assume many of your followers are in that group.

The most common career advancement opportunities offered by modern companies are:

  • Career assistance and mentorship. A leader can have regular conversations with his or her followers discussing their career goals and what paths the organization has to offer to achieve them.
  • High-impact work. Many people want to know their work is making an impact on the organization, so a leader should provide such opportunity. For example, it could be a job position that involves working on more serious projects such as negotiating with high-profile customers. 
  • Training. Companies that provide professional training for employees are more popular than those that don’t. Developing training programs requires some input from employees, such as their career goals and skills needed to achieve them.

These opportunities ensure that problems such as burnout and stress don’t affect employee performance while also reducing turnover and increasing the desire to stay.

7. Create a Positive Work Environment

A happy workplace provides additional motivation and support and makes people want to do their best. Here are some ways for leaders to achieve that:

  • Engage in meaningful dialogs. Prioritize face-to-face communication because it establishes a position of caring that motivates followers. Also, it shows the boss wants to get to know his or her employees.
  • Listen to everyone’s ideas. Every member of your team has ideas, why not encourage them to speak? One way to do so is to simply listen to them. When communicating with employees, listen and discuss their ideas. And, of course, give the good ones a try.
  • Have a little fun. Getting out of the work routine is priceless, so treat your followers to something fun and good such as a visit to charity, a movie during launch, a day at the amusement park, or just a brief pause during the working hours to tell interesting stories and have a few laughs.

Challenging employees is now an essential condition to keep them engaged, motivated, and interested in your company. Feel free to perfect your motivation strategy with these tips, and your followers will respond with a greater performance and a dedication to future success. 

Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at A-writer. He has degreein Law and English literature. Jager has written numerous articlesfor online journals. You can reach him at G+ or Facebook.