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5 Productivity-Boosting Tips to Try If You Suspect Your Employees Aren’t Working Hard Enough

No matter the size of your company, you can’t afford to let your employees slack off when there are things that need to be done. But if you’re going to instill some motivation in your team, it’s important not to resort to unethical practices like spying on your employees, which could easily come back and bite you—in more ways than one. Instead, try one or all of these five productivity-boosting tips to help increase engagement and ensure that you’re spending time where it matters most—on building the foundation of your business success. 

1) Increase accountability 

It’s natural for employers to worry about the productivity of their employees, especially if they suspect someone is slacking off. The best thing you can do is set clear expectations for your team, and then make sure you are paying them what they deserve (instead of underpaying them) if they do a good job.  

The next thing you can try is changing up how often you check in with your staff. Some people find it more productive to only check in on an employee once a week, while others might feel more comfortable checking in with each person every day or so.  

Try giving employees the opportunity to go into work early and stay late without worrying about getting fired if they need the extra time to get their work done. 

2) Create a support system 

It can be hard to manage employees when you don’t have a lot of experience. However, if you suspect they’re not working as hard as they should, don’t spy on them. Instead, try these tips for boosting productivity and engagement:  

  1. Set the right expectations and goals.  
  2. Track progress.  
  3. Provide feedback (both positive and negative).  
  4. Give encouragement and praise along the way.  
  5. Offer incentives/recognition when appropriate.  
  6. Stay in contact with employees through regular check-ins and touch points throughout the day or week. 
3) Meet with employees one-on-one 
  1. After an initial meeting, schedule regular meetings with each employee that last no more than 15 minutes. Meetings should be scheduled at different times of the day and on different days of the week so you can determine if there are any patterns to their lack of productivity. 
  2. If you notice that they aren’t working as hard as they should be, have a discussion with them about what you noticed and what can be done about it. Make sure your tone is constructive and helpful rather than accusatory or judgmental.
  3. Ask employees how they feel about the company and their jobs 
  4. Offer incentives for reaching certain goals  
  5. Offer opportunities for professional development  
  6. Hold one-on-one meetings with staff members who work remotely 
4) Provide feedback 

We all have bad days, but a healthy work environment should make it easier for employees to bounce back and focus on the tasks at hand. When you suspect your employees are slacking off, try these five productivity-boosting tips:  

  1. Take some time for yourself. Think about how you can boost your energy levels so you can be ready when it’s time to go back to work.  
  2. Get some exercise. A good workout will increase your energy levels and help you think more clearly.
  3. Take a break from social media. Social media is a great way of connecting with friends, but it can also take up an inordinate amount of time if you’re not careful. 
5) Set time aside each day for work 

That doesn’t mean you should be constantly peeking over your employees’ shoulders or jumping on the IT team every time they get a phone call. It’s not an employee’s responsibility to prove they’re working hard enough, it’s the employer’s responsibility. However, there are ways you can increase productivity if you suspect that your employees are slacking off:  

  1. Be clear about what counts as work. Make sure everyone understands what is required of them and set limits for how much time per day is allowed for non-work tasks (email, Facebook etc).
  2. Involve your employees in decision making as early as possible. Let them know that their input matters and will help shape company culture and strategy.
  3. Know when it’s appropriate to delegate tasks. 



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