We’re not proud to say this, but we know that a lot of time is wasted during one’s workday. Distractions are all around us, no matter where we work. It is estimated that around 1 hour per day is wasted on tasks that are not work-related, that’s 5 hours per week.
Bringing up the subject of slacking with an employee is not easy. It requires some tact firmness, but also empathy. No one likes feeling controlled, watched upon, or unable to take a couple of minutes to recharge during the day, so here’s our guide to slacking to make your life as an employer easier.
The fine line
There is a fine line between a break and full-on slacking. We define slacking as a prolonged waste of time. Reading a couple of articles in the morning before starting work? Wouldn’t call that slacking – as long as they add value to the employees’ work skill set. However, a consistent refresh of an irrelevant news-portal, as opposed to finishing off tasks, is a cause for concern.
Micromanaging vs Managing
In recent years, flexibility and freedom at work have become increasingly important for all employees. While no employee will thrive in an environment where their manager is constantly checking up on them, we need to understand that some employees’ work will require checking every now and then, and addressing slacking will require an element of micromanaging from time to time.
Slacking is not something people usually enjoy doing – most of the time it happens because of what’s going on at work. Some might be bored; others might not be feeling challenged; it’s your job as an employer to know your employees and what they are going through.
In 2020, where remote working has become the norm, taking care of the wellbeing of your employees is even more important. Open the lines of communication. Talk to each other, not at each other. If a person is slacking, it’s important to discuss it with them.
Each problem has a root, and if this person’s performance is causing bigger problems, it needs to be addressed immediately. If approached tactfully, it need not be an awkward conversation to have. Through understanding why it will be much easier to solve the issue.
If an employee is slacking, one of the best things you can do is to involve them more – not as a sense of punishment, but to make them feel more important, busy, and therefore empowered by the work they do.
Set SMART goals that you both can keep track of. This will not only help them see the value of their work but will give you a concrete example when explaining their slacking, if needs be, to improve it.
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