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How to manage slacker employees

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “I was recently hired to supervise two women who don’t seem to do much work. One does crossword puzzles and word search games all day. The other manages to look busy, but is actually surfing the Internet most of the time. I would like to improve this situation, but I’m not sure what to do. I have no training in management, and my boss has an “I don’t care” attitude because she’s leaving in a couple of weeks. Her replacement has already been selected. Should I wait until he starts before I talk to the employees?”  Need Help

Answer: Any performance improvement plan requires management backing. However, there’s no point involving your current manager, since she’s about to depart. Mentally, she may already be gone.

When your new boss arrives, schedule a time to brief him on your unit’s activities and learn about his expectations.  During that discussion, voice your concerns about these slothful workers and ask for guidance.  

For example: “Since starting this job, I’ve noticed that two employees spend a lot of time playing games and looking at websites. They need to be more productive, so I plan to start monitoring them more closely. Because I’m a new supervisor, I would like your advice on the best way to approach them.”  

After agreeing on an action plan, get some assurance of your manager’s ongoing support. If he fails to back you up, the slackers will simply decide to ignore you. Finally, to start building your management skills, ask if you can attend a workshop on employee coaching.

Not sure how to coach employees as a new manager?  Here are some tips: The New Manager's Coaching Guide.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John September 13, 2012 at 3:28 am

I think you need to list things that they should do every day or give them a task that could make their time busy. Similarly, you have to constantly monitor their work or be at their side to supervise their actions. But if they are working mostly on the computer try to install this time tracking software that tracks their productivity, billable hours, etc. It also generates a performance report(s) on how they spent their time in doing productive things. If you want to see their computer screens you can also do remote monitoring.


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