Negosentro | Constructive Ways To Prevent Employees From Wasting Time | As an employer, you may find that your employees get distracted and waste too much time at work. This can be a precarious situation for you. On one hand, you can’t tolerate this kind of behavior or you will lose money by paying employees not to do anything. On the other hand, if you come down too hard on your employees by micromanaging them or imposing unreasonable demands, you will breed resentment. Here are some ways to encourage more productivity and efficiency in your employees without becoming unreasonable or tyrannical.
Set Clear Policies
Part of the reason why employees may be wasting time is that they don’t know what to do in a given scenario. Therefore, you should create clear policies for them to follow. For example, teach your employees what to do if they receive a fraud call that uses caller ID spoofing. If you give them a clear procedure to follow, they will know what to do immediately and they won’t waste time on the phone.
Behavioral psychologists have known for years that positive reinforcement is a much more effective motivator than punishment. Instead of punishing the behavior that you don’t want, encourage the behavior that you do want by offering bonuses, prizes, or other rewards when they hit certain benchmarks. Making a contest of it makes it more fun for everyone, and you may be amazed not only at how much productivity increases but also how much morale improves.
Give More Break Time
This may seem counterintuitive: How can offering your employees more break time help to improve productivity? However, it actually makes sense when you think about how much employees try to accomplish on their breaks and how little time they have to do it. If their breaks end while they are in the middle of something, it makes sense that they may try to finish it up when they are supposed to be on the clock. By giving them more break time to take care of other matters, the time they do spend working may end up being much more productive.
Have Regular Progress Meetings
A progress meeting every one or two weeks allows you to address problems with productivity and efficiency quickly before they become habits that are difficult to break. It also gives your team an opportunity to brainstorm as a group and figure out better ways to complete certain tasks. Chances are that someone in your group has an idea that is much better than anything you could have come up with on your own. A thirty-minute meeting should be enough to address issues and clarify policies if it is held on a regular basis, no less frequently than once every two weeks.
If you don’t make it clear to employees when you expect them to complete certain tasks, you don’t really have the right to explain when they don’t meet your expectations. Whenever you assign a task to an employee, make sure they know when you expect them to complete it. Having a policy in place for extending deadlines under certain circumstances also helps employees know where they stand and keeps them from taking advantage of any flexibility.
Check in Frequently Without Hovering
Employees usually don’t like to have an employer watching their every move. At best, it’s an annoyance, and at worst, it could exacerbate underlying issues with anxiety. On the other hand, you shouldn’t leave employees entirely to their own devices either. Make time in your daily or weekly schedule to check up on your employees. Ask for progress reports but keep it casual. Ask if they have any specific problems and make yourself available for questions as needed. Be helpful rather than judgmental or overbearing.
One of the best ways to discourage your employees from wasting time is to set a good example for them and refrain from the distracted behaviors you don’t want them to do.