[Video] 5 Ways to Recognize Unproductive Employees

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By Lorna Faires

Topics: unproductive employees


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5_Ways_to_Recognize_Unproductive_EmployeesUnproductive employees can drastically affect your whole office’s productivity, efficiency, morale, and profitability. Even just a few bad apples can have an effect. Unproductive employees don’t get things done, frustrate the rest of the team that has to pull more weight, and can rub off on your other workers. If an unproductive team member is getting away with being lazy, others might start to do the same. So, as you can see, it’s definitely important to be able to identify unproductive employees so you can eradicate the problem before it creates an even more devastating effect on your company. Here are five ways to recognize unproductive staff members, so you can deal with them accordingly.


1. How Did This Take You so Long?

Generally, you should know how long it takes to perform any responsibility. If a task you’ve assigned an employee takes him all day to complete when you know it could be done properly in four hours, you probably have an unproductive staff member on your hands. An employee who says he’s preparing, consulting, or researching all the time is probably spending all his time on Facebook, chatting with coworkers, or playing games on his phone. If an employee can’t perform a task in a timely manner, chances are he’s procrastinating and not actually working on it. Of course, some tasks will take longer than expected, but someone who habitually takes twice as long to finish it than is needed is a waste of your time and resources.


2. Have You Seen So-and-So?

If you always find yourself searching for a certain employee, you’re probably seeing a sign of an unproductive employee. Whenever there’s a team meeting, a social gathering outside of work, or a new task being assigned, you can be sure that unproductive employees will be far away. These members want to do the absolute minimum amount of work in one day, so they’ll often disappear when they sniff out any additional work that might be coming their way.

3. What’s the Excuse This Time?

Do you have a team member who’s always coming up to you with a new excuse for why a report is late, why a task wasn’t done, or why he wasn’t at the last meeting? Unproductive employees are great at making up excuses and blaming everyone and everything else for their mistakes. Sure, some unavoidable issues do come up, but workers who always seem to have an excuse up their sleeves are probably just unproductive.

4. Did You Hear About…?

You can get a lot of information about a worker from the rest of your team. If your other employees seem to resent a particular team member, if there are always arguments that stem around him, or if there’s always gossip about someone in particular, you should investigate further. Good workers who spend their time on their work don’t get into problems with other staff members. They’re not rubbing anyone else the wrong way because they’re getting their work done promptly and efficiently. But if there is a lot of frustration and anger that centers on a particular worker, there’s probably a reason: he’s not pulling his weight.

5. Why Aren’t You Doing Anything?

Unproductive employees won’t do anything on their own. They have no motivation and no drive. Unless you’re giving them clear, precise directions with a strict deadline, they’ll consider the task avoidable and unnecessary. If you hear yourself having to give constant, specific instructions to a worker in order to ensure it is done, you’re probably staring at an unproductive worker.


Lorna Faires

I have over 15 years of experience in the staffing industry, in a management role. I possess a strong background in recruitment, screening, and connecting candidates with the right employment opportunities. I love all animals, but especially my 3 dogs. Hiking and canoeing are my passions, and getting out into nature and being unplugged is my favourite way to spend my vacations.

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