As a leader, you have to look out for the interests of both your business and your employees. If you have one or several unproductive employees, you have to get to the bottom of the issue; otherwise, it could spread and may cause more problems in the workplace. Read on to find out how to deal with employees who are not productive.
- Find out what's causing the decline in productivity. Dealing with employees who are not productive depends on the factors that cause the lowered productivity. There are several reasons why your employees might become unproductive. They may have a problem with their coworkers or their manager, making them feel discouraged, unmotivated, and unproductive. Another reason could be related to personal issues. Perhaps they have personal matters that are keeping them from focusing on the job. Finally, a reason for decreased productivity could be due to the job itself. There are times when people find out that the job they get hired for turned out to be a poor match for the skills, preferences, or interests, which makes them uninterested to do their work. They might also feel as if they've reached the top of the career with no room for growth, making them feel like putting in more effort is pointless. To find out what's causing this, have a one-on-one meeting with the employee and ask him or her to air their concerns.
- If the problem is due to the workplace or with another coworker, you need to rectify the situation immediately. Address the situation on the managerial level or the team level, depending on where the problem is coming from.
- If your employee's problem is due to feeling of being in a dead-end job, offer opportunities for growth.
- If the problem is a personal one, direct your employee to the company's Employee Assistance Program or recommend any therapists or counselors who might be able to help out. As a leader it's important to show sympathy, but you must not get too involved in your employees' personal lives.
- Make it your business to discover what motivates your employees. Is it more benefits? More perks? Once you identify what motivates them, integrate them into your office routine. You can organize a team lunch or throw office parties once a month, or give specific awards to employees for a job well done.
- You could also try implementing regular employee performance reviews and let everyone on the staff know when and where it will happen. When employees realize that their performance will be directly linked to their record, it could affect their productivity positively.
It will be worth your time and effort to make certain changes to help make your employees more productive. Document everything and keep track of any improvements. If your employees begin to exhibit signs of insubordination, this could be a basis for termination. As much as possible you want to prevent that, but sometimes it may be necessary. This is why you should keep a record of activities; documentation will strengthen your case and can be used to protect the company and other employees.