5 Ways To Help Unproductive Employees

Productivity is an essential concern for any company. Employers and managers must ensure that employees are productive and that their actions contribute to the organization. So the question is: how can you help unproductive employees?

Training employees is an integral part to fostering productivity in the early days of hiring. Proper training ensures that employees can use the tools they need in order to do their job, and competence is a significant part of ensuring productivity. After the initial training is completed and the newness of the job or skill set wears off, employee productivity can often begin to lag. There are many ways to increase productivity, many of which are ongoing and dependent on maintaining positivity and focus.

 

1. Choice Makes for More Productive Employees

When employees feel as though they are being micromanaged or perceive a lack of control in their day-to-day work environment, productivity will lag. This Gensler study indicates that employees who have choice in where and when they work are far more satisfied in their jobs and considerably more efficient. Currently, the option to work remotely is becoming popular, however if you are not in a position to give quite so much choice, increasing productivity could be as simple as empowering your employees to decide how they will carry out required tasks. Train managers to be more hands-off with the people under them so as to encourage productivity.

 

2. Make Work Meaningful and Rewarding

Just as training has to be meaningful in order for it to be retained, work has to be meaningful if employees are going to remain productive and engaged. No one likes to feel as if what they do doesn’t really matter. When employees feel that their work doesn’t matter, or that there is no space for advancement, work can get sloppy and productivity will lag. Demonstrate to employees that their contribution makes a difference and foster the idea that their position in the company is important right when training begins, and continue to do so through frequent smaller training sessions to ensure that skills stay sharp. It’s also a good idea to frequently recognize employee’s contribution, frequently referred to as “the Carrot Principle”. Making employees feel appreciated is a surefire way to build success and revive flagging productivity.

 

3. Foster an Enjoyable Work Environment

A lack of productivity can come from a lack of enjoyment, so it’s important to balance work with social opportunities. Human are social animals, and often feel most fulfilled when they have access to a supportive social network. Though it may seem counterintuitive, making work a fun place to be can increase productivity exponentially. Provide casual opportunities for employees and managers to build relationships. Training sessions are a great way to encourage socialization, as they can be collaborative. Alternatively, wrap up training sessions with lunch, bowling, or another social activity. Doing so will allow people to share enthusiasm for newly obtained skill sets, make new connections, and renew old ones. Gartner analysts say: “Low staff morale and high turnover not only impede successful system implementations but could cause delays and raise costs as a result.”

 

4. Confront Potential Sources of Toxicity

Employees who are unproductive often feel purposeless and a sense of stagnation, and from there feelings of resentment and negativity can build. Once an employee starts expressing their negative feelings, the outlook will spread and start affecting overall performance. Be conscious of what employees are feeling and saying, and if someone’s behavior is becoming toxic, confront them. Find out what they need in order to feel more satisfied, and try to provide it. If the behavior doesn’t change, you may have to let the employee go. Though this is a tough decision, it’s important to do it quickly and decisively. Unproductive, negative employees will demoralize everyone around them, and no amount of training or team building will fix the problem.

 

5. Allow for Training Within the Flow of Work

Too often performance is low because the training is seen as not something relevant to daily work. Therefore in order to boost performance, the strategy of continuous learning, learning that takes within the flow of work, makes it possible for the employees to fulfilling their everyday tasks better than before. WalkMe  is an incredibly valuable tool in empowering workers to perform their daily tasks at the moment they are working. Employers are able to monitor their employees performance, while employees can work efficiently and mistake-free.

According to Gartner:

“Business objectives cannot be realized until the new applications are in place and users have embraced and are proficient with the new applications and processes.”

Shoring up lagging unproductive personnel can be achieved through the creative use. It is with these five tips that I hope employee performance is better managed and maximized while ensuring organizational growth and success.

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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