Published: 7th September 2023
REWARD & RECOGNITION: BOOST MOTIVATION TO AVOID PROCRASTINATION
We all procrastinate from time to time – surely, it’s harmless? Not necessarily. Prolonged periods of procrastination can negatively impact your business. Read on to explore why your employees are procrastinating and how to increase their motivation and concentration.
Unofficially, the 6th of September is ‘Fight Procrastination Day’. More commonly recognised in the US than in the UK, the day aims to help people face the cause of their procrastination issues head-on.
Procrastination = delaying or postponing what we need to achieve.
People procrastinate in all areas of their lives, using different distraction methods to avoid completing a specific task.
The impact of procrastinating will depend on what we’re avoiding and why, but in the workplace, procrastination can be a productivity killer.
Procrastination in numbers
On average, UK employees procrastinate for two hours and nine minutes each day (Factorial). Since full-time employees generally work eight-hour days, this suggests that they spend just over 25% of their working day avoiding work.
There’s a gender divide, too, with men found to procrastinate for almost three hours and women nearly two.
When we position it like this, it’s easy to see why procrastination hampers productivity.
Avoid today. pay tomorrow
Procrastination costs UK businesses £21 billion each year (Factorial)! We can agree, then, that procrastination at work is far from harmless.
Time is money, and when yours is wasted, it impacts your bottom line.
Uncovering the Cause: Delivering the Solution
Procrastination comes in many forms, from daydreaming to browsing our phones, and the reasons for procrastinating also differ.
Fear of failure, or a lack of confidence in our ability to complete a project, can lead to us delaying getting started on the task. Age, gender, and experience make a difference, with females aged 18 to 25 reported as having 15% lower levels of self-belief than males in that same age group.
Nurture talent to increase self-belief…
Training, empathetic managers, and mentoring are effective ways to support and build the confidence of new and younger employees. Clarity on project stakeholders, subject matter experts, and lines of communication is essential to ensure employees know where to turn for support.
Feedback boosts confidence and self-belief, providing constructive learning for future projects and recognising achievements and success.
Poor Time Management
Poor time management + increasing workload = excess stress.
Procrastination also stems from having a large workload. When we don't manage our time well, or priorities aren’t clear, deciding where to start can be challenging. Not knowing where to start often leads to employees not starting at all.
The right tools for the job and employee empowerment…
There are two things you can do to help employees prioritise their work and manage their time:
Provide them with the tools to manage tasks, automate updates, and plan ahead.
The power of no. Not all employees feel they can push back when asked to take on a new task, but managing expectations is a skill all employees should have. When we over-promise, we’re at risk of underdelivering, which increases stress and can cause further issues.
It’s also essential for managers to monitor workloads, provide additional support when needed, or intervene on their team members' behalf if necessary.
Low employee buy-in or engagement
Disengaged employees cost the UK economy over £340 billion annually (FMJ).
Engaged employees are more focused and driven to help your business succeed. They may have moments of procrastination – they’re still human – but they will be considerably less than unengaged or disengaged employees.
Increase engagement = reduce procrastination.
Increasing employee engagement will help to reduce problem procrastination. Our guide to building a sustainable and cost-effective people strategy digs deep into the unengaged and disengaged employees.
Here are a few of our top reengagement tips:
- Nurture a culture of individuality.
- Build a culture of trust and lead with authenticity.
- Encourage peer-to-peer recognition.
Do you monitor employee engagement levels in your business?
Highly engaged employees increase productivity by 17%.
Pulse surveys effectively capture honest feedback from your people and identify how engaged they are. Once you set the benchmark and highlight problem areas, you can define what you need to do to increase employee engagement in your business.
Lack of motivation
Lack of motivation is one of the top reasons employees procrastinate. The drive to deliver simply isn’t there.
There are links between engagement and motivation – engaged employees tend to be more motivated. However, motivation has a separate source of drivers.
We tackle this subject in depth in our blog – Maslow, Herzberg and Pink’s Motivational Theories in the Workplace. Here, we’ll outline Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, which highlights that there are six separate motivators.
Recognition is at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy – the top motivating factor. Even the most engaged and motivated employee may lose their drive if their efforts go unacknowledged.
Unleash the power of reward with Sodexo Engage
A ‘thank you’ costs nothing and goes a long way to make employees feel recognised. Rewards are the next step: strengthening appreciation, supporting employees, and making them feel truly valued.
75% of employees feel more loyal towards their employer when they’re supporting them.
Rewards boost employee engagement and retention, especially when they help your people enjoy more of what they love. When you gift your employees with our digital eVouchers, they’ll have over 100 brands to choose from, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Spoilt for choice!
Your employees can redeem their eVouchers with high street and high-end brands and retailers, helping them afford essential items or a special treat.