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Hiding in Plain Sight? How to Spot – and Fix – Unproductive Employees

Have unproductive employees who spend their work day napping? Show up to work dressed in their bathrobe? Do nothing but shuffle papers or walk in circles for eight hours?

Not likely, right?

Chances are, most of your employees appear busy – because unproductive workers don’t want to be found out! If they’re caught procrastinating or making the most of Parkinson’s Law, they know they’ll have to pick up the pace.

Could you have unproductive staff members hiding in plain sight?

Even one slacker can bring your entire company’s productivity, efficiency and morale down. To spot them, look for these characteristics – and use our tips to get them to carry their weight:

  • They whine. Regular complaints are a clear sign that an employee is not willing to make a necessary change. Your workplace is continually evolving; you need employees who work to grow and change along with you.
  • They procrastinate. Everyone occasionally has tasks they don’t want to do, but that’s why they call it work. An employee who repeatedly puts things off can put your entire team behind – and put your company in a bad position with clients and customers.
  • They point fingers. When work doesn’t get done, it’s never their fault. If they’re chronically late, it’s because of traffic, a faulty alarm clock or some other force beyond their control. Everyone misses the occasional deadline or goal, but employees who habitually shirk blame typically do so to cover up their own poor performance.
  • They pass the buck. There’s a big difference between a manager who delegates tasks to employees and an employee who shifts their responsibilities to someone else’s plate, just to avoid a little hard work.
  • They’re too focused on perfection. Attention to detail and conscientiousness are great qualities in an employee, but they can be paralyzing when taken to the extreme. Being too hypercritical of their own (or others’) work can prevent an employee from making effective decisions and moving projects forward.
  • They want to take all the credit. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be recognized for work they’ve done, slackers are only interested in being productive when it serves their best interest.

Once you identify an unproductive employee, what can you do to turn their behavior around?

  • Help slackers change their habits. Part of your role as a manager or supervisor is helping your team build better productivity habits. This post shares three practical tips you can implement today.
  • Try something unexpected. In this post, we share unusual productivity boosters to refresh, refocus and re-energize your team.
  • Hire better. If performance management doesn’t work, Wood Personnel is just a phone call a way. We can help you replace under-performing employees with qualified, motivated individuals who are ready to make a positive impact in your organization.

What can Wood do for you? Contact our Nashville staffing firm, or your local Wood Personnel office, today!