Senior professionals are slacking off at work!

Are you one of the senior employees who’s slacking off at work? 

A new study suggests that almost 1/2 (45.5%) of senior professionals fall into this category. Please note: the study’s use of ‘senior’ refers to seniority of position, as opposed to age group.

In addition, the Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘slack off’ as a phrasal verb, meaning to ‘stop working hard or putting effort into something’.

Senior professionals say that…

  • Despite, their reduced work efforts, they continue to provide ‘results’ (66.7%)
  • They’re primarily suffering from poor motivation (57.7%)
  • They’re not appropriately ‘challenged’ by their work (35.6%)
  • They’ve already reached their achievement potential (31.7%)
  • And they feel ‘bored’ (29.8%)

Furthermore, 95.6% of these senior professionals have never been spoken to about their behaviour at work and believe they can get away with more than their junior counterparts.

This is concerning news at every business level:

  • Business leaders are naturally looking for employees that they can trust to work effectively and who will push themselves to achieve business goals. Especially when these employees may be managing other team members and/or responsible for high-value tasks.
  • Colleagues can suffer the effects of slackened work efforts. For instance, suddenly having to take on extra workloads or reach unexpected last-minute deadlines, etc. Resentments may also build if colleagues observe their senior team members getting away with things that they wouldn’t.
  • Let’s not forget the senior professionals themselves. It is concerning for any employee to routinely feel unmotivated, a lack of challenge, loss of achievement opportunities and/or boredom.

What to do if you’re managing such a colleague…

Inc. has some realistic advice on managing those that are slacking off without become a micromanager. Or, as they say, ‘without running the office like a drill sargeant!’

It’s well worth getting to the root of why their efforts have lessened and how you can work together to reignite their motivation, create new challenges and/or increase their interest level. There may, of course, be other issues that the individual is experiencing outside of the above research findings.

There are so many possible solutions, from training opportunities to new projects and even a change of job role – which may help you to see more of your employee’s potential and achieve more as a result.

What to do if you’re the professional that’s slacking off at work!

As a senior employee, it’s also important that you can hold yourself accountable and review what’s going wrong.

Do you identify with any of the statements listed at the top of this post? Is there something else that’s bothering you, such as feeling too distracted, personal issues, burnout or similar?

Once you’ve identified what’s going wrong, set yourself some challenges to see how you can improve things. Take inspiration from all the many business experts out there. For instance:

Many of the above posts also discuss one essential topic: working out when it’s time to move on. If you’ve outgrown your role and you’re eager to apply yourself to a new challenge, please visit our jobs page



Forced into side hustles

Why do employees opt to work in so-called side hustles? Is it by choice or is there something else forcing their decisions?

If you read our recent salary news roundup, you’ll know that more than 1/2 of professionals are finding it difficult to meet their financial needs on a monthly basis.

So, it’s of little wonder that the majority of people who undertake side jobs are motivated by the chance to earn more money.

The top motivations for side hustles are:

  1. To increase income (59.9%)
  2. For personal enjoyment (14.1%)
  3. To ‘improve a hobby’ (10.4%)
  4. For better job security (9.4%)
  5. Or to enter a new career (6.3%)

The fact that 67.7% of respondents could be willing to stop their side jobs if their employer increased their salary adds further proof of their financial incentive.

That said, the remaining 1/3 of respondents intend to eventually turn their side gig into their career role.

Should employees and/or their employers be concerned?

There are important considerations for all parties…

  • As the Onrec post suggests, employees should have a good look at their employment contracts before embarking on any side jobs. Many businesses place restrictions on work that can be completed out of office hours.
  • Naturally, employers need to promote productivity and will be concerned if their team members turn up unreasonably tired or distracted. There’s also the chance of competitive overlaps and even public relation problems.
  • Yet, as the piece also mentions, businesses need to do more to attract and retain their employees; particularly in a time of continued skills shortage. Where possible, increased salaries can help professionals to better balance their work and home needs.
  • Business leaders can consult their recruitment agencies for more guidance on achieving competitive and attractive salary packages. We’re delighted to assist local employers with their recruitment enquiries – please call the office on 01225 313130 for more information.
  • Employees who feel overwhelmed with balancing extra work alongside their careers should consider whether their day job is the right role for them. If they’re not able to negotiate a salary increase, they may find their earning potential is greater in a new role. Regularly reviewing local job opportunities can help you to gauge your salary potential.


The creative & innovative employee

How creative or innovative do you get to be on a daily basis? It’s important to remember that these words should apply to all industries and jobs, not just the artistic!

Creativity and innovation allow us all to work in new ways, formulate new ideas, and progress. However, employers and managers are overestimating just how much room they give their teams to use these skills.

Employees don’t feel able to be innovative at work…

  • 76% of business leaders believe they ’empower their employees to be innovative.’
  • However, only 34% of professionals feel encouraged in this way.
  • Yet 95% of businesses see innovation as imperative to their business growth and 91% of employees want the opportunity to be more innovative in their roles.
  • Employers are also misreading those tools that inspire creativity. They over-prioritise financial incentives and under-prioritise the role that ‘purpose’ plays in our work.
  • These findings (from Accenture, reported by HR Magazine) also reveal that staff specifically want appropriate skills development, flexible working opportunities, and a healthier work-life balance. Each aspect is believed to nurture greater innovation.

Tips for employers: each aspect features in our ‘7 Days of Employee Attraction Tips.’ See Days 3-5 for more advice. Make sure you’re also gathering genuine feedback from your employees. You don’t want to be among the managers who think they’re creating a culture that they’re not!

Good managers can spark creativity

It’s interesting to hear that managers can also increase creativity by using one essential skill – attentive listening.

  • In a separate international study, also shared by HR Magazine, employees expressed greater creativity when they felt listened to. Their workload was also of increased quality.
  • Conversely, distracted managers failed to promote such a response.
  • The article additionally highlights several flaws surrounding common brainstorming activities. Many people fear ridicule in response to sharing their ideas. Employees also worry about being the person that constantly offers up ideas in fear of annoying others.

There’s some sage advice for all managers; much of the focus needs to be paid to creating a more relaxed and informal culture that allows for ideas to be developed over time.

A brief note for stifled employees…

Where possible, share your ideas with your manager or a trusted colleague. You may be letting your fears get the better of you. Hopefully, your confidence will soon increase alongside your enjoyment of your role.

However, in instances where you’ve repeatedly tried and still feel stifled, or you simply fancy a change of scene, your skills may be better used elsewhere. You can read and apply for the latest jobs here.