Question: My staff doesn’t use their “down time” effectively. They just spread out their work to match the time allotment.
Answer: This is a matter of engagement, systems and rewards. Here are some tips to help you help them to keep busy!
Ask for ideas
In a monthly meeting, ask for their help with what to do with down time. (This is the engagement part.)
Keep a Visible “To-Do” List
You may want to “rate” each task as a 1-2 or 3. Then you have each person who is finished with their work to select a task to finish and they get to sign off on the task. (This is the systems part.)
At the end of the month you could do a drawing or an award based on merits. You can decide how creative to make it. If it was as little as a $25 gift certificate that would still be meaningful. Or it could be a team celebration with cake. You get to decide. (Obviously, this is the rewards part.)
In short, people help to implement what they create, so get busy asking for their advice. Decisions planned in advance save the brain from having to think about what has to get done, so decide in advance how you want to systematize your random task list, and finally, people repeat what gets rewarded. Good luck!