Feels like a lost hope doesn’t it?
Lazy employees who could do better, but don’t do better.
It’s a tough task no doubt. But it’s just like farming. You remove the pests to have healthy crops.
That’s what this post is about – eliminating those pests that kill the workplace’s health.
1. Drug Addiction
Drug abuse can cause employees to steal, have poor hygiene, arrive late, disengage with the team and feel tired all the time. It’s a true killer.
The good news is drug abuse is an individual problem, so it tends to affect only one employee, rather than the whole team.
Solution? Follow these steps:
Step 1: Record their behavior. Make sure you record every time they start acting weird or disappearing for some time. Do this for a week, and if you recognize any signs of addiction, then move on to the next step.
Step 2: Talk to them. Don’t talk to them like an employer. Make sure you sound like a concerned friend who wants to really solve their problem. The goal of this conversation is to convince them to get treatment.
Step 3: Talk to a lawyer. Lawyers can really help you solve the legal aspects of having an employee with addiction. Sometimes you’ll be able to fire them, which is your last choice if they don’t fix their addiction problem anyway.
Nobody likes to be picked on for every little action. Micromanaging is a perfect way to stress your employees, lower their self-esteem, and make them hate you and their jobs.
Some employers think micromanaging is the only way to get employees to finish tasks. They think if they don’t micromanage, employees won’t be motivated enough to get their work done.
That idea is far from the truth. Although micromanaging does work for a short period of time, if you want to build sustainable workplace environment, you need to use the trust method.
What’s the trust method?
Have a weekly meeting, tell your employees what their weekly goals are, and give them the deadline when they should report their results.
This way you’ve given the employee a responsibility instead of you babysitting them for the whole time.
Oh yeah, and make sure you speak like a motivational coach in the meeting room instead of like a boss who’ll punish them if they don’t get the job done.
If all that fails, fire ‘em.
3. Unproductive Meetings
There are productive meetings such as the one we’ve just talked about, and then there are useless meetings that are just as worthwhile as watching cat videos.
So what makes a horrible meeting?
- Unnecessarily long
- Employees can’t weigh in
- More people than needed
A meeting must be short and to the point. Employees hate wasting time at meetings, and meetings can take up a lot of time. A one hour meeting isn’t really an hour; it’s one multiplied by the number of employees. If you want to calculate that cost, then multiply it by how much they earn per hour. Meetings can waste both money and time, so make sure you keep them short.
You know those bored employees probably wearing sunglasses and dosing off in the middle of the meeting? Well, there’s a way to get rid of that problem. Want to know what it is?
Get them to talk and give their opinions. Unless they talk in their sleep, making them talk will usually wake them up and get them involved in the meeting.
Another common mistake employers make in meetings is they ask more people than needed to come. For example, they call everyone from the marketing and sales department when only the SEO team from the marketing department would have been enough.
4. Repetitive Tasks
There’s nothing that makes an employee feel more like a worthless robot than repetitive tasks. Here’s why.
- They don’t expose the employee to new things.
- Because they are repetitive, they make the employee feel he or she is going nowhere in life.
- They make the employee feel like he or she isn’t good at anything else in life.
- They are just plain boring.
You need to mix things around. Even if employees’ jobs are supposed to be repetitive, you need to make them have a bit of fun.
For example, the support team tends only to solve customer problems. Even though that skill is extremely valuable, employees feel like they’re doing the same thing over and over. Sure, they get a chance to hear a lot of interesting feedback and problems. But after some time, all the problems start to sound the same.
What you as an employer can do is get them to experiment with new tasks. People love experiments and learning new skills. Get your employees to experiment by saying full names instead of first names. Or try nicknames instead of first names. You could also attempt different variations of words, experimenting with male support vs. female support. Try everything and anything you can.
Gossip is how hate and negativity pass through a workplace. It’s how teams break up and start to hide information from each other, causing employees to be uninformed. It makes employees hate their work because they don’t like they’re colleagues.
Gossip may seem like something trivial at first. But it’s not. Unlike drug addiction, gossip impacts the entire team.
The good news is it’s quick and easy to solve.
First, acknowledge that people want to do good. They just don’t know gossiping is dangerous.
Second, because of that you need to speak privately to each employee known for gossiping privately. Let them know about the harms and consequences of gossip.
Third, schedule a meeting with all gossipers and address the problem publicly. Make sure you also publicly announce punishments for those who are caught gossiping again.
Fourth, encourage good gossip (or praise) for one another. Encourage employees to forgive and always to address management directly if there are any serious problems. Negative gossip does not solve problems.
Fifth, walk the talk. Show employees how it’s done by praising others and avoiding negative gossip. If you’re the one making the rules, then following your own guidelines is included.
Creating a positive environment is the employer’s job. Employees want to do their work in peace and harmony. As an employer, you need to do your job of creating a healthy workplace.
You’ve already learned how to solve 5 of the biggest viruses found in most workplaces.
Believe it or not, you’re a step closer than most employers.
Soon you’ll get rid of all the problems and be able to focus on improving your business.
In the end, it’s people who build products. If the people are not in good condition, the products will not be either.
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