Social loafing is a problem anytime a group is working together to produce a common product. Your band is a group working together for a common product: making good music and succeeding as musicians. Most people are pretty familiar with the concept of social loafing, people exert less effort when working with others than they do if they work alone. People just seem to think that they can fly under the radar in a group setting, that there lack of effort will simply go unnoticed and that others will pick up the slack.
When it comes to music it is important for all band members to contribute to the band equally. In the case where some members exert more effort and energy than others, not only will the music suffer but the relationships in the band will suffer as well. It won’t take long for the hard working members to start resenting the loafers.
It happens, not everyone is 100% motivated all of the time but there are ways to avoid blatant social loafing. One solution is to create rewards for good performance. This can be something as simple as going out for beers at the end of the week to discuss the things that went well and shout out those that worked really hard that week. Another way to keep motivation high is to create competition among members. You can get creative with this. Your band is a business so a competition can come in the form of who can get the most sales on iTunes or who can add the most emails to you mailing list. Ultimately the most crucial element to keeping motivation high is investment in the band. If members are not invested none of these solutions will work. One way to keep investment high is to remind members that their unique contributions are indispensable, not only to the quality of the music but also to the success of the band as a business.
Your band is a team and everyone needs to contribute. In order to keep things running smoothly it’s important to understand that social loafing happens, it’s human nature. But learning to deal with it appropriately can help avoid unnecessary rifts and help you to sustain your productivity and success.