We’ve all been there before. We’ve had a couple of employees or perhaps just a single one that is being problematic. It’s not that they aren’t willing to work, it’s not that they’re breaking the rules either, it’s simply just their productivity. Maybe they’re not working as quickly as they should, perhaps you’re unsure what kind of work to give them or maybe you’re stumped because you’re unsure how often you should be giving them a new task.
It’s usually not their fault or yours. Maybe there’s just a little break in your office right now and perhaps there’s no need for so many employees. You’ve considered telling them to take a holiday, but they don’t want to use their dates yet and you’re paying them a salary anyway, so why not make use of them? Unfortunately, this type of problem is fairly common in the world of business because there will always be ups and downs in your sales and there will always be quiet periods where almost no one does any work.
In order to straighten out this situation and help the unproductive members of your workforce, here are a couple of useful tips and tricks to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is fire your employees, so use these as an alternative.
Creating a work schedule
One of the most problematic things with unproductive employees is the feeling that they could be doing more. You’re unsure if they’re simply doing their work too quickly or if the work you’re assigning is just far too easy for them. Perhaps it’s the opposite and they’re taking way too long to finish a task that others can do in a matter of minutes. It’s hard to judge this without evidence or statistics, so here’s how to solve the issue.
Get an average of how long it takes to finish a task. It could be sorting mail, writing up an article or even responding to a certain amount of customer queries. Once you have this average, use it to judge whether an employee is being too slow or too fast. Then, take a look into their work and ensure they’re not being lazy or rushing it. Ideally, everyone should finish their tasks at the same time, but it’s understandable when a handful of people don’t meet the average and either go above or below it.
Another useful thing to have is a work schedule app. This can help your employees stay on track for when they’re doing their tasks, and it will give them a general sense of direction on what to do next without having to ask their colleagues or speak with you.
Allow them creative freedom
Something that tends to annoy employees is their ability to be autonomous in your business. Limiting employee creativity is a sin and it should never happen unless the job they have is strictly something logical that doesn’t require creativity. There aren’t many roles in the office that promote this, which is why there is almost never an excuse to not be creative.
If you know your business inside out, then there are undoubtedly some ways in the back of your mind that an employee can be more productive. Let’s say you have an employee that isn’t really working much because they always finish their work on time. Instead of limiting their talents, why not give them a new role in the office that involves design, such as website design or content creation? By stimulating their creative urges, you effectively give an employee a little more control over how they help your business.
Money usually isn’t the reason for people becoming unproductive and lazy at work. You can’t exactly throw money at someone and expect them to work harder or be more productive. Instead, what your staff really want is job security and a sense of belonging. They want to feel like they’re actually contributing to your business, not just following orders and acting as a small cog in a large machine. Offer them some autonomy and give them some creative freedom so that they may affect your business in their own way and feel a sense of accomplishment when your business succeeds in something.
In short, make sure that you’re making the most use out of every employee you have. Whether it’s by offering them more creative freedom in their tasks or monitoring what they do and optimising their working hours, it’s important to nurture every member and staff and turn them into staff that are proud to work for you.
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