Have you ever walked into your first day on the job, been shown your desk, told to introduce yourself to the different department heads, then sat at your swivel chair wondering what the description of your new job actually was? 

This occurrence of not knowing what to do while “clocked in” on valuable work hours is more common than some managers might think. For employees, especially at more entry-level, it can be difficult, even embarrassing or anxiety-inducing to think of admitting that you are under-worked while in the office. For most, saying that you feel your time is under-utilized brings up doubts that your job is important and that your hours might be cut, or you might lose the job altogether if you were to speak up. 

The reality is, most businesses have a plan and vision for a job when it is created; we will even go a step further and use data to support the need for a new position before posting a job listing. Sometimes those needs, or the demands of a position as it evolves, are not properly communicated. The resulting fear and boredom are detrimental to a secure, reliable, and retainable staff. The worst part is, it is easily avoidable. 

Proper training on the job is one reliable way to ensure that staff is both competent and secure in their position. This means having a plan for onboarding each new employee, giving them the tools and skills to do their job properly, and providing ongoing training as the employee grows in the position, or as needs shift over time. 

It is advisable to go over your training plan. It should be direct. The specifics of the job should be outlined and attainable, removing vagueness where it leads to confusion about the job priorities or duties. Before an employee starts it is the job of a manager to review the starting plan. 

Will the new hire have a good sense of their tasks and how to accomplish them at the end of the training? 

How long will training take? 

How will the needs of the job be communicated to the person fulfilling them, and will they have a good sense of why their position is necessary and how it contributes to the services and goals of the business?

It is the responsibility of the employee to speak out if their time is not used to their best advantage. The feeling of valuable time being wasted at work can rob employees of their sense of peace and security and can leak into other areas of their lives. Employees are too valuable to lose to a sense of boredom, and time is too valuable to waste because a pivotal member of the team is missing clarity on what to do, or how to do it. 

In addition, it is important to train for the necessary skills and tools for related jobs. If you feel the business comes to a halt when one or several people aren’t working then the staff are probably under-trained. It does not make the individual less valuable to offer others insights into their position. On the contrary, it confirms that others can appreciate the necessity of that position and the person who regularly performs it. 

One of the things that we pride ourselves on is the ability to provide back-ups for tasks that must be completed regularly, or even daily. There are many services we outsource to companies that require specialized training and when someone is sick or on leave those tasks simply cannot be neglected. Having a reserve of individuals who are trained and adaptable to the business needs has become an asset to our clients. Their business needs are never dropped to the inevitable needs of PTO, sick time, or other individualized needs of the staff members, no matter how important their role is. 

If you are feeling the limitations of task training, or evolving needs of a position we can help. Our experience in evolving to fit new demands of HR, confidentiality, new technology, and more can ensure that the team working in your office is confidently working without the risk of losing time and other resources. And if you’ve ever felt the mounting pressure of a person who is currently unable to work, but is essential to your team, we have the backup personnel you’ve been looking for so you can go back to focusing on business goals, and not solving the urgent problems of the day.