Larry Cipolla
July 3, 2013

"Are you bored?"

These three simple words are often more difficult for leaders to ask their team members than they anticipate. However, when managers fail to pay attention to their employees' behavior, boredom can turn into resentment, which could eventually make an individual quit his or her position.

Engineering manager and author Michael Lopp explained in his blog that when boredom initially appears, there is not an immediate threat to a business. This tends to make the issue easier to ignore, but when leaders can follow a few simple steps, he said, all employees can find ways to keep themselves engaged and motivated in the office.

According to Lopp, any noticeable change in daily routine could be a sign that contributors are bored. Are they arriving or leaving at different times than normal? Are they taking more vacation days? There is going to be a reason for the boredom, and it is essential for managers to take the initiative and ask why their employees are bored.

"Remember, the goal here is to discover boredom before they know it, and the act of a simple question might be just the mental impetus they need to see the early signs in themselves," Lopp wrote.

Communication is critical, which is where CCi Surveys International can help. To gain constructive feedback from team members, businesses can incorporate employee opinion surveys and 360 feedback assessments. When team members see that their managers are taking the time to work with them, they will likely be more willing to make changes themselves.

If a manager and employee can work together to create an action plan, then both parties can be satisfied. The team member can rest assured that his or her skills will be put to good use and the supervisor will know that productivity will once again occur.