As someone responsible for a group of employees, figuring out how to engage and motivate them can be a difficult task. Often companies approach this by increasing social events or perks such as free meals, but some studies have suggested that employees are most satisfied with their work when they are being challenged to actually use their skills and abilities. Here are a few suggestions for ways to challenge employees who are itching for a new problem to solve, as suggested in the article “Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard”:
#1 Expand their current work. Don’t overload your employees with a bunch of new and different tasks, instead assign them more complex work that builds on the work that they are already doing.
#2 Apply their experience in new ways. You might also challenge them to step a little outside of their comfort zone by bringing their skills and experience to a related but different area. They might bring a fresh perspective and enjoy working with a new problem.
#3 Challenge them with the unfamiliar. If an employee is really looking for a challenge and is prepared to handle it, consider putting them to work on something that they are entirely unfamiliar with, but you know they will be capable of working through. An employee who really wants to grow might be grateful for the opportunity to expand their skill set.
A big part of successfully challenging employees is knowing their interests and boundaries, but if correctly done, these kinds of challenges can be rewarding for you and your staff!