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How to Help Slow Employees Work Faster

12.22.2016

Whenever one of your employees is being slow, it is your obligation as a manager to identify the problem and help them overcome it. Most employees find themselves in similar situations every once in a while, so instead of making a big fuss over it, devote yourself to making an improvement. There are several reasons why your employee is being slow at work and many techniques to make them work at a faster pace.

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Your first task as an employer is to figure out what the issue is, where it stemmed from and why it’s there in the first place. While there are several alternative solutions you can choose from, before deciding how to deal with such a situation, you should have the following in mind:

  • Nobody wants to fail on purpose at their job; everyone wants to succeed! So, if you ever had the feeling that one of your employees is doing this on purpose, you better think twice before jumping to a conclusion.
  • If your first approach to a slow employee is negative, you cannot expect a positive outcome. Starting with reprimands can have a negative effect, so you should be supportive and try to work things out better together.
  • Do it in private, so you don’t embarrass your employee in front of the others which may discourage them even further. Negative comments should always be kept private since you can drive your employees up the wall. Contrary to praise words, these things should always happen behind closed door, so your employees will have a chance to improve.
  • Do not do things which will discourage your employee, but rather try to inspire them. Instead of focusing on the bad, be a manager who will always focus on the good. It is more important to motivate your employees instead of always bring up their mistakes and drawbacks.
  • Do not always replace them with someone faster, that is not the right decision to make and won’t solve their problem. Replacing a slow worker with a new one is the greatest mistake a recruiter can make. The reason behind that lies in the many years your experienced employee has already devoted to your company, knows their tasks, adheres to the company’s vision, etc. Replacing someone who is already settled and established with a newbie or even assigning them to another project will further demotivate the employee who has an issue. Instead of making them put an extra effort into learning how to do new things, you should rather use their previous knowledge wisely.
  • Give them specific deadlines for completing each activity. In order to set a clear goal in your employee’s mind, you should give them specific tasks and even more specific deadlines. That will make things clear to them from the beginning. Adding a sense of urgency can often ignite the fire your employee is missing!
  • Explain what expectations they should meet. Setting realistic expectations will make things easier for you and your employees as well. Always keep in mind that everyone is different, but once they maintain an average level of achievement most of the time, they are on a great track.
  • Determinate what the real problem is and why has the once hard-working employee become a demotivated slow worker. Employees can be underachievers at work because of some personal issues, frustration at the workplace, conflicts with other employees, health problems, money issues, dissatisfaction, etc. It is your obligation to approach the situation according to the cause.
  • Teaming up with your employees, so they could pick up the pace of work is a great way to start solving the problem. Lead by example!
  • Give them a list of priorities they should have before starting their day. Having a to-do list is a simple yet useful way to start the day and keep track of fulfilling all their tasks.
  • Do not measure the day by passed hours, but by completed tasks. For you as a manager, it is more important for your employees to finish all their tasks, instead of staying at work for 8 hours without doing anything. Setting new rules can change your employee’s attitude towards work as well. If you tell a slow worker that his day will consist of several tasks and he’ll be free once they complete them, they will definitely work faster. Your once-slow employee will do their best to finish everything faster, keep an eye on the quality as well. This way you will see how slower employees can finish everything in under eight hours and how efficient the slowest ones can really become.
  • Slow employees may underperform because they are overburdened with doing too many tasks at the same time. Thus, it is better for them to do one activity at a time instead of multitask, which may be distracting and make them lose their focus and concentration. Also, if they are given a certain deadline, they would not keep themselves distracted by their emails, or whatever other task, but rather speed up to finish in time.
  • The most essential thing to do is to keep your employees interested. Whenever you entitle an employee with a task, you should make sure that they are really interested in the type of work you are making them do. Instead of loading them with work which will lead to a burnout, you should think of more interesting ways for completion. Keep in mind that it’s important to assign the right job to the right candidate, meaning knowing your employee’s interests are crucial. If everyone has the motivation and eagerness to come to work and do their job with passion every morning then you have achieved your purpose as a manager.
  • Always put the focus on helping, instead of just accusing and warning them. There are several ways to solve the problem, even simply by changing the little things at first.

 

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Sources:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/6-steps-getting-slow-employees-work-faster/

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/4-ways-to-get-slow-workers-moving-faster/

https://businesstown.com/articles/how-to-deal-with-employee-performance-issues/

http://sakasandcompany.com/coach-slow-employees/