So, your employees is slacking off. Perhaps, they are bored with their daily tasks or your work environment is not fun. Bridget Miller’s blog for the HR Daily Advisor titled, How to Get Employees to Goof Off Less at Work reads in part,
“Reducing employee time spent “goofing off” is probably a reasonable goal. But the idea of “goofing off” is probably not the main issue—the real issue is productivity loss. That productivity loss may come from a variety of employee activities, such as spending excessive of time talking about nonwork things with coworkers, doing personal things like browsing online articles or social media, or even taking care of personal errands (like buying gifts online or spending time away from work without taking paid time off (PTO). It could also come in the form of frequent personal calls and texts. Regardless of the specific activity, the concern is that too much time is being spent not working.”
The article has a few suggestions for employers looking to engage its workforce and increase productivity. In no particular, order here is three out of the seven suggestions:
Invest in good tools for employees. If employees are frustrated at work, or even if they’re overworked, they may be more likely to need to take (too many) breaks and feel more justified in doing so. Conversely, giving employees good tools to enhance productivity can allow them not only to be more efficient but also to have a greater sense of satisfaction because the employer invests in its employees and cares about how well things get done. Likewise, good tools can increase productivity and can offset some of the otherwise “wasted” time.
Consider implementing more flexible working arrangements whenever possible. When employees have options that allow them to handle the demands of their personal life at the most opportune time, they’re less likely to be distracted when they’re working. They’re also less likely to be sneaking in personal calls if they have the flexibility to handle such issues without causing problems. Flexible working arrangements might include things like allowing employees to work nonstandard hours (which could allow for personal matters to be handled at better time of day) or allowing employees to make up time taken away from work on other days.
Ensure employees know where their role fits compared to the big-picture organizational goals. If the employee can clearly see his or her role and how it impacts the bottom line (directly or indirectly), he or she will be more likely to spend spare time on activities that work toward achieving the big-picture goals instead of just wasting time. The employee will feel that his or her contributions make a difference.
Today’s workforce wants flexibility, freedom, and equality. And that includes, work-life-balance and telecommuting opportunities. What they don’t want is to be told that they have to respond to work e-mails at all hours of the night, on their days off or while they are on vacation. And, as for micromanaging employees, it’s both archaic and demoralizing and the quickest way to have turnover. The best and more resourceful managers can always find ways to keep their employees engaged and at that same time, ensure productivity is also high.
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