Young guns or slackers: who’s in your office?

by Janie Smith23 Apr 2014
If you’ve got an office of quiet achievers, young guns and happy jugglers, things are probably running pretty well.

Even stress bunnies and the easily distracted aren’t so bad.

But what if you’re stuck with a bunch of slackers and misery guts?

Those are the seven common types of Australian workers, according to the recent Great Aussie Jobs Survey and chances are you’ve encountered most, if not all of them.

The young guns, quiet achievers, happy jugglers, stress bunnies and easily distracted are all likely to enjoy their jobs, with varying degrees of work-life balance.

But those in the slacker and misery guts categories find their jobs unfulfilling, mundane and have poor career progression.

How can you motivate these workers? The short answer is that you can’t, said executive coach Stacey Ashley of Ashley Coaching & Consulting.

“The big thing is that there is nothing you can do to motivate somebody else. They have to motivate themselves. What you can do is create the opportunity for that to happen. You can help people to understand that how they feel about their work and how productive they are and their level of performance is basically up to them and while the company can support them and their manager can support them, at the end of the day, it’s their choice.”

She said for some people, their job is simply how they make their money and they have other priorities in their lives.

“Part of it is getting them to recognise how important that is to them – checking in with them about what makes it important for them to come to work and do a good job.

“Creating that connection of importance can help them to recognise that, ‘It is up to me to perform well so I keep my job and I can have the finances I need to support the other things in my life’.”

When someone dislikes their job to the point where it impacts their performance, helping them to recognise that they can make different choices is important, said Ashley.

“Sadly, a lot of people who are in that situation can’t see a way out of it. They kind of forget that they could choose to do something else or work for a different company or do a different role in their current company.

“For HR people, it’s about saying, ‘What one little thing could you do today to make it better?’ Just asking the questions and getting to the bigger stuff like, ‘If you really hate it that much, what are you going to do about it? I’m here to help you and support you but at the end of the day, it is up to you’.”

See the original article and survey results here.

Which categories of workers do you deal with and how do you do it?

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