Transitioning an Uninspired Workforce

Sep 24, 2012
4 Min Read

If you’re reading this post, you are most likely familiar with what it’s like to work in an office environment. There are all types of roles that comprise the office dynamic, but for now we will focus on the “taskmasters.” These are people who occupy non-management roles. Taskmasters are usually responsible for doing a lot of the “dirty work,” and they don’t always get the accolades that their senior co-workers get, mostly because they are carrying out the plans that their managers strategized for them.

Let’s not give TOO much sympathy to the taskmasters of the world however. Members of senior management started on the lower rungs of the ladder as well, and they earned the right to delegate work. Let’s face it though, the taskmasters are busy, and they have little time to dedicate to learning new software that will make them more efficient. In their minds they already ARE efficient. For them, learning a new tool will just be one more annoyance that will take time out of their day.

As a senior manager, planning to unveil a new online database application to your workforce might take some strategic thinking.  How does someone inspire a taskmaster to change his/her ways?

Imagine a taskmaster at your office- let’s call him Frank. Frank sits at a cubicle away from the action. He usually isn’t invited to important meetings. People at the office only see Frank in the elevator, and on the way to the restroom. Nobody really knows what he does, except for his manager, who would be lost if he/she couldn’t delegate all of that annoying busy work to him. Let’s just say Frank is uninspired. He does a good job, but he looks forward to leaving work the second he sits down in the morning.

When trying to ensure a smooth transition to a new online database application solution, Frank’s manager needs to sympathize with Frank and his coworkers by understanding their daily struggles. They can also be sold on the fact they will have more time to assist on more inspiring projects, and possibly be able to leave the office earlier at night.

To not overwhelm the team, management needs to slowly introduce the new software. People are weary of the unknown by nature, but by implementing a slow but frequent integration, a comfort level will be established with everyone involved. If the team has a realistic expectation of when they have to change their procedure, along with some sympathy from their manager, the transition should be a smooth one.

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