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How to get your staff to do mundane tasks

In the digital age, with an always-on mentality, employees are more connected to their work than ever before. With increasing workloads and mounting time pressures, employers can struggle to encourage staff to action those jobs they deem to be less important.

These jobs can be anything from completing holiday or sick forms, to filling out timesheets and inputting expenses. If timesheets are not done, employers cannot get full visibility over employee time or output, and if expenses are not accurately completed, workers can experience delays in being reimbursed. These are all aspects of business that need to be completed alongside core projects and important client work.

As employees drag their heels on completing these ‘monotonous’ tasks, in favour of assignments they see as more important, internal processes slow and mount up. So, how can organisations make sure their staff complete these ‘mundane’ tasks on time?

Provide helpful and easy to follow training and instructions

Employees are much more likely to put off doing tasks if they are unsure of how to complete them correctly and think of it as being difficult or an inconvenience. If employers offer effective training and support, employees can action the tasks they least want to do without ‘wasting’ too much of their time.

Make employees aware of, and enforce policy

Organisations need to make sure workers know the rules and regulations around such tasks. With a clear and concise policy regarding tasks like inputting expenses, and making workers aware of the repercussions if they are not in line with policy, employees are much more likely to take more care of their actions, spend within permitted boundaries and complete them correctly and on time.  

Encourage productivity tools

Productivity is a constant issue in the UK – the UK performs poorly compared to its international rivals despite strong employment levels. To help employees work in the most efficient way, managers can encourage productivity apps such as Trello or Evernote to help workers keep on top of their to-do lists. Businesses like PayPal, Google and Kickstarter all use Trello to help maintain productivity and ensure all tasks are completed no matter what size or level of importance.

Provide the right technology

Tiresome tasks can be made so much worse with outdated or ineffective technology. If workers are expected to follow laborious manual processes, it can dramatically slow down important internal processes. It’s crucial for businesses to innovate and keep up with technology to help drive productivity and make employee’s lives easier. Employees value convenience and by providing options for remote working, such as mobile apps to input timesheets or expenses, this can be achieved easily.

Explain why

It’s important for employees to understand why they are completing these potentially onerous tasks. If workers cannot see the relevance or importance of tasks they are less likely to complete them on time and to a good standard. For example, if employers explain why timesheets are needed, or why expenses needed to be processed on time, they may be happier to get these done.

When staff are provided with the right tools and know-how, mundane and tiresome jobs won’t be as difficult and time-consuming to action. This then frees up time for employees to work on business critical tasks that drive growth for the business.  

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Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 21 January, 2016, 12:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Good list. From personal experience and anecdotal evidence, people avoid mundane tasks due to natural tendency of procrastination, which rises manifold if the process of completing them is fraught with friction. Therefore, I'd like to add one more item to your list: Make systems to fulfill mundane tasks frictionless. This goes beyond "right technology" already covered in your list and focuses on UX.