Dealing with Unproductive Employees

Your employees are your company’s best asset. You’ve heard that one before because it’s true. But an unproductive employee can become your company’s biggest expense. There are a lot of blogs, articles, books, etc. on boosting productivity, but what’s an HR manager to do about those less than stellar employees?

The first step is pinpointing the source – gaining an accurate picture of which employees not only fail to pull their weight but also drag down the rest of the team. Watch for these common themes.
• They need a break more often than the rest of the team. When you need them, it’s like playing a game of hide and seek.
• They finish their projects a “day late and a dollar short.” They need help from team members to finish their work, but are never in line to return the favor.
• They find another way to get something done, but instead of being innovative, it’s one of those “shortcuts” that come back to bite you.
• They seem to “inspire” negative comments, irritations, etc. among your productive employees.

Now that you’ve narrowed the list, what are you going to do?

Evaluate yourself. Are you part of the problem?
• Do you need to more effort into connecting, understanding, encouraging, inspiring? Look at your ratio of highly-productive employees to sufficiently productive employee, to sadly lacking employees – it will give you a clear perspective on your leadership skills
• What is the common perception of you among your staff? Be honest here! Is there general negativity? Has it swung too far the other way, and you’re everybody’s friend? Either side of the spectrum could mean that you need to make some changes.
• Have you placed employees in the best position for them to shine?

Once you’ve evaluated yourself – and dealt with, if necessary – focus on the employees in question.

• Get a clear picture. Are there underlying factors? Is this a new issue or long-standing?
• Watch from behind the scenes – sometimes employees are very good at appearing busy when the boss is around, but soon slide when you are absent.
• What can you do to encourage and motivate change?

Ok – so you did your homework, changed what you could, gave them some pointers, and there is still a problem. It’s time to consider a different picture. Sometimes termination is the only answer, lest you lose your best employees or lose a client because you missed a deadline. Just ensure that you document everything.
• The steps you took to help the unproductive employee(s)
• The warnings
• The specific cases of project incompletion, failure to produce the quality yo require, etc.

Dealing with unproductive employees is never fun, but experiencing the repercussions of NOT dealing with the issues is much for difficult and costly. Clean up your staff and connect with Springborn Staffing. We provide nothing but quality staffing to companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine. Contact us today.

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