We’ve all see them: the employees on total auto-pilot. They may be physically present, but mentally, they’re dead to the world. For the guys out in the field, there may be no shortage of variety, but it’s a different story where the concrete meets the carpet.
What can you do to make sure your team is engaged and not going through the motions like a team of zombies? Here are 4 tips…
#1 Offer A Little Variety
Working in the same place and same position for 8 hours straight can leave you in a stupor, especially if you’re performing a familiar task. One way to combat the autopilot mindset is to offer your employees a little variety. Maybe that means getting everyone Veridesks (you’d be amazed at what a little shift in posture and a little boost in blood flow can do for your mental and physical well-being) or letting them bring the pups to work.
A little change in scenery can go a long way, too. Some of your employees may need a desk setting to get work done, while others may think of a desk as a creativity-paralyzing prison. Not everyone on your team will work best in the same environment, so why not offer options?
At Spark Marketer, there are different workstations for those that can’t stand the thought of being at a desk the entire day. We have a conference room for group projects or trainings; a couch and cozy chair lounge with a lot of natural lighting; and a little café type area for those in need of some peace and quiet. Of course, we also offer the option to work remotely some days. The point is: sometimes just getting up or moving to a different space can help you shake off the zombies and give you a fresh mind and a fresh approach to your workday.
#2 Take Time To Meet & Engage Every Day
Are you stimulating and engaging your employees every day? Are you reminding them of how important they are and how impactful their hard work is? Daily meetings are great for this! Simply meeting as a team each day for a few short minutes can help keep your employees from turning into zombies from 9-5, by bringing everyone together and directing everyone’s focus. You can also utilize these meetings to clear up any misunderstandings, patch up any communication breakdowns, and bring problems to light so they can be addressed.
Several of our employees work remotely full-time, but everyone checks in on Slack by 10 AM. During these check-ins, we each go over what’s on our plate for the day, with the goal of keeping us focused on our daily tasks and aware of other goings on within the company. Verbalizing these things helps keep us realistic about our daily to-do list and our productivity, and reminds us that each of us plays an important role in serving our customers and keeping our company going. Having a clear focus and a sense of purpose as you start your day will definitely help keep you out of the zombie-zone.
#3 Change Up Tasks
One major reason for zombies in the workplace is that we oftentimes end up doing the same repetitive or familiar tasks, day in and day out. Mindfully structuring your day can help break up monotony and give you the change you need to keep your mind fresh.
Even if your employees each have one major task, there are ways to switch things up. For example, as the primary content creator, I primarily write. But when I feel the zombie brain coming on while I’m working on one writing assignment, I can always switch over to another writing or editing task. If that’s not working, there’s always reading to do, podcasts to listen to, or other “input” things I can work on. Taking a little breather allows me to go back to the previous project with a fresh perspective. How can you and your employees switch up or plan your days to prevent burnout and monotony?
#4 Ask Your Employees What They’re Passionate About
It’s hard to be an apathetic zombie when you’re working on something you’re passionate about. Are your employees in roles that allow them to use their passions and strengths? When your employees are in roles that engage them mentally, they’ll be switched on at work instead of shutting down. And that means you’ll have a zombie-free workplace.
How do you know if your employees are in the right roles for their passions and strengths? Sometimes simply asking your employees what they enjoy about their jobs and tasks can give you an idea as to whether or not they are in the right positions or should be moved to another.
Is your workplace filled with zombies? Zombies quickly make more zombies, so act quickly! Use these 4 tips to breathe some fresh air into your team and watch the productivity and morale skyrocket!