An organization could be defined by the functions it performs. It also has its identity rooted in the identity that has been held by their employees. If you are currently working for an organization, being a permanent employee or on a contractual basis, you may have observed that there are a number of your colleagues who take work a bit too lightly.
On the other hand, there are people who do nothing else but work. The disparity that has been created between the two groups is striking. It is at this point, that the ones who work hard to hoard their share of pennies are in the same boat as the ones who are not very keen on putting their best foot forward, however, are still reaping the same benefits.
This may be an elementary method of putting the concept in place, but this is precisely what social loafing is all about. Social loafing can occur at various levels of the organization. It can be at the workers level elevating itself to the managerial level.
What is Social Loafing?
This culminates with a certain negative disparity between the set goal and the resultant outcome. They are typically least bothered about the way the functioning of the group has been progressing. It is a concept that takes place when there is a group that needs to work in sync with each other.
Each one of them has to make a contributing effort in making the task in hand a success. In psychology, social loafing quotes an extremely easy example to understand the concept with clarity. Researchers conducted an experiment where a dyad of students was considered. They were asked to clap as loudly as possible.
The next step was to include another student and ask them to clap with all their gusto. This continued as they kept on adding students one by one into the group, until the group became big enough, to check the true potency of the experiment. It was observed that as the group expanded the individual effort of clapping lessened.
We may say that the 'responsibility' that they felt towards doing their best in their clapping goal was diminishing with each, passing stage.
What are the Strategies to Discourage Social Loafing?
There are certain strategies that are helpful in curbing social loafing and decreasing the number of social loafers in the organization, thereby, converting them to social facilitators. Here are some plans that you could put to practice.
On the note of generality it is important that one puts in his hard work and makes the best of his time and contributes significantly to the output goal set by the company.
When they find that others are not working as they ought to be there are morale issues that crop up. It is imperative that an authority addresses the issue and makes amendments. Taking employees to task is not the answer, instead gradually changing the culture of the company is the key.
Taking a casual stroll in the office premises can make a huge difference and may help curb social loafing. This is indeed a subtle way to make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and not what they want to do.
This will enhance their team building skills and make them all the more capable of working in a team without loafing around time. You may allow employees to hold competitions, acknowledge them with awards and have them interact with their fellow colleagues.
In short, let them loaf around to their heart's content, to curb social loafing on days that are marked productive.
While you take a casual stroll around, you may interact with some employees asking them what they are doing and what is it that they would like to change in the task assigned to them. If their suggestions are lucrative, you may well think and apply them.
Nevertheless, if their plans cannot be implemented, explanation as to why their plans are not worth putting into practice must be given with due respect.
Strategy #6 - Ask Questions
Make sure that when you come around for your statutory stroll, ask questions to employees that are related to work and how the assigned task is taking shape. If you see someone loafing away their time a casual reminder to them is what is required.
Thus, trying and asking questions at that point of time when loafing is noticed, will let the employee know that he has been seen and notice has been taken. He will analyze that these activities that he indulges himself into which are not the least related to work, may harm his career growth and mar his appraisal and promotion prospects.
This will cut down on social loafing activities and make them feel all the more responsible towards their task.
Even after applying these strategies to curb social loafing, the activities continue, it is to your benefit that you confront the employee or employees and ask them to change their strategies of work.