The more productive your employees, the better your business. Unfortunately, your entire workforce might not be working at the same optimum level. There are likely a few unproductive employees bringing down your entire team—the workers who put in 50 percent or less effort on a daily basis.
The cost of unproductive employees can have a significant effect on your bottom line. Instead of hoping that your employees are working as hard as they should, you’d be better off spotting the lazy workers as soon as possible, before it’s too late.
1. “I’ll Finish That Later”
Unproductive workers just won’t get things done—at least in a timely manner. Procrastination is the lazy worker’s best friend. If one of your workers is constantly saying he’ll finish a project or task later, take it as a warning sign. Employees who pick up one task, then drop it to start another, waste a lot of time in between each task. Or worse, they take a break form a project to check their personal email, play games on their phones, or generally waste company time instead of working. You know how long it should take for a project to be completed, and if someone is always taking more time than expected, recognize it as a sign of a lazy worker.
2. “I’m Overworked”
You know that in this competitive age, just about everyone is overworked and underpaid. The best workers, though, don’t use this as an excuse. They don’t dwell on it, they just continue working. But unproductive employees will use this excuse to keep taking breaks and complaining instead of actually working.
3. “That’s Not My Responsibility”
Unproductive employees don’t even want to do their own work, let alone anything extra, so you’ll often hear from them that the work you’re giving them isn’t their responsibility, so they refuse to do it or complain while doing it. They pay too much attention to what others aren’t doing than on the task at hand.
4. “I Wasn’t Told to Do That”
Unproductive workers will not do any work until they’re forced to. They have no sense of independence, no motivation, and no drive. They wait for the boss to hand out a task before working, otherwise, they’ll just sit on their hands and wait.
5. “I Can’t Do That”
Great employees try their best, even if they’re not sure if they’ll succeed. They’ll try anyway. But unproductive employees will quit before they even start out of fear of failure. If they don’t try, they won’t fail.
6. “I Was in the Back”
An employee constantly telling you that he was just in the back, in the bathroom, in the staff room, or elsewhere when he should have been at his desk is an employee who probably doesn’t get much done. If you feel like you’re always playing hide-and-seek with an employee, especially when you’re assigning tasks or trying to start a meeting, you’re seeing a very bad sign of unproductivity. This type of employee wants to do the minimum amount of work, so he’ll be sure to stay far away when there’s work to be done.
7. “I Took a Shortcut”
Unproductive employees are going to want to spend the least amount of time on a project. They won’t be thorough and they won’t be detail oriented. Instead, they’ll want to take shortcuts, and these shortcuts will likely undermine the quality of the work.
Unproductive workers can wreak havoc on your work environment, but beware, they can be anyone on your team, the quiet guy, the most loveable worker, or anyone else. When you take the time to recognize unproductive employees and address them appropriately, you’ll be able to ensure quality, timeliness, and efficiency.