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How to Identify a Slacker

Slackers, there’s at least one in every office. If you’re having trouble thinking of who that might be in your office, then it could be you. You might actually be slacking instead of getting work done right now. Slackers come in all shapes and sizes, and popular TV shows even glorify the slacker role. Like many of these TV characters, slackers just need a little extra attention from management to make them more productive and keep them on task.

Managers should make office rounds as much as possible so they may identify and address issues with productivity. There are a few ways management can deal with a sneaky slacker after they have been identified. Talk with employees and set specific goals, quotas, and deadlines for them to meet. You can also utilize incentive programs to reward employees for improved performance. If none of these tactics seem to work, it might be time to talk with the employee about another position.

Make sure this type of employee is closely supervised – not micromanaged. Break down large projects into smaller parts or tasks so the project does not overwhelm the employee. Listen to the employee to make sure their ideas are heard, and take the time to provide them with feedback and guidance. Projects where more creativity is needed will keep them challenged and involved.

There’s a difference between an employee who likes to work alone and one who doesn’t know how to work with others. Get this type of slacker involved with group projects. When they see how the other people interact with one another to achieve a common goal, they can begin to understand the importance of collaborative efforts. You can hold group meetings that require everyone to speak and give their input on a particular topic. Making employees feel comfortable with their coworkers makes for a more productive office and a comfortable work environment. If the employee insists on fighting the interaction, an adjustment might need to be made to their position at your company.

Lack of motivation is at the root of slacking, but if you don’t know what motivates your employees, it’s difficult to keep them on track. NBRI’s employee engagement survey evaluates each company within its own climate and culture. Our ClearPath Analytics and ClearPath Action process provide you with unique results and solutions that move your company toward improved financial performance. If you’re interested in discovering your strengths and weaknesses, contact NBRI today for a complimentary estimate.

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