Seven Ways to Handle Employees Who Don’t Finish Their Work
Having conversations with staff when they don’t complete their work can be challenging. Your tone and professionalism will be extremely important during these conversations. In a perfect world, employees would finish their work before it’s due and we’d never be faced with these difficult situations. Of course, that’s not the case, so knowing how to address the scenario is our best bet.
How to Deal with Employees Who Don’t Finish Their Work
- Discuss expectations. During their onboarding is the best time to set expectations for your supervisee. Make sure you document that you have done so.
- Have your staff make a list. Ask them to write out everything currently on their plate so you have a better understanding of where and how they are prioritizing this work.
- Establish clear requirements and deadlines. Ensure the staff have a good grasp on what is expected of them and the time frame around those expectations. If possible, provide samples, templates, or checklists.
- Encourage check ins. Let your staff know they can reach out to you with any problems. When they do, make sure to respond in a way that encourages them to continue to do so.
- Consider external distractions. It’s possible there are outside issues that are leading your staff to be unmotivated, oppositional, or otherwise not doing their best. Talk with several key staff members to ask for their help in understanding what else might be affecting the team.
- Ask your staff to complete a time chart. Use this to identify how they’re spending their time at work and have them round to the nearest 30 minutes or so.
- Clarify responsibility. Ultimately, your staff is responsible for completing their work, even if others are involved, and you need to make this abundantly clear.
These interactions are rarely comfortable but are sometimes necessary. Approaching them with the right tone and sense of respect can make them much more bearable and in turn allow you to obtain the results you need. The more definitive you are about expectations from the outset, the less likely you’ll have to encounter these circumstances.
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Written by Rachel Strysik