Social loafing is where people tend to minimize their efforts and potential when working in groups than working individually (Singh et al., 2017). The idea of group works is perceived to improve the outcome of a given task through combined efforts. However, some individuals put minimal effort in achieving the overall group’s goal.
During my senior year in high school, the institution selected me as part of the ten-member team to undertake a task involving research on the major challenges faced by the students and recommend possible solutions to the same. I was placed into a group where most of the members were the class top performers. I did have an idea of a problem that the students were facing, so I could not air it out with the fear of being rejected by group members. Being the least performing group member, I was less confident and less motivated to participate in various activities. The rest of the group members did the work while I sat along, watching, and doing nothing to help the group.
Social loafers can be motivated to take part in activities of the group in various ways. Increasing personal responsibility by assigning distinct tasks to each member in a group is essential in ensuring that all members have a duty to meet the group’s goals (Zhu & Wang, 2018). Team leaders should recognize the contribution of all members of the group. For instance, providing team performance reviews and feedback strengthens member’s involvement and improves understanding (Karau & Wilhau, 2020). Increasing and promoting involvement in a group makes members feel appreciated and builds team loyalty, thus, increasing the participation of members.
Karau, S. J., & Wilhau, A. J. (2020). Social loafing and motivation gains in groups: An integrative review. Individual Motivation within Groups, 3-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-849867-5.00001-X
Singh, S., Wang, H., & Zhu, M. (2017). Perceptions of Social Loafing in Groups: Role of Conflict and Emotions. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3132871
Zhu, Min & Wang, Huaqing. (2018). A Literature Review of Social Loafing and Teams with Group Development. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3176383