Distributing Work Chores

Question:

I have been given a task at work to come up with a way to effectively distribute extra chores and tasks that are not getting done in the workplace. When I was a kid we had a “chores board” and if we did all of our chores we would be rewarded. Would a model like this work in the workplace as well? How would and could I monitor something like this? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Signed,

Someone’s Got To Do Them


Answer:

Dear┬áSomeone’s Got To Do Them:

The first suggestion I have is not to assign the chores to the new guy or gal such as is the pattern some places. The kind of workplace culture I most respect is one of sharing the unpleasant tasks rather than of lording seniority over the newcomer. Should I assume that the chores not getting done are those such as cleaning up a coffee area? If this is the kind of tasks, might you not prepare a rotation of clean up assignments and then present this to the work group to ok or modify?

Associate Workplace Doctor Tina Rowe weighs in with this: My experience is that adults hate things that seem like something they did as kids; and will respond by making fun of it. They may do the chores, but with a lot of negative side-talk. Personally, I like the approach of simply having a supervisor assign tasks and rotating them every couple of months or so. People don’t like that either; but the fact that they hadn’t voluntarily done the tasks indicates to me they will resent anything that makes them do chores they don’t want to do. The writer might bring everyone together and ask THEM how it should be handled, with the clear inference that it WILL be handled and the tasks WILL be done by everyone.

Do you find our suggestions worth a trial period? If not, please use them to prompt other chore distribution options and then share them with us. Leadership is helping a work group understand that working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

Bill Gorden & Tina Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.