Dealing with employees who work slow can be a real test of your leadership skills. Learning how to motivate your employees will actually be one of the best things that can help your ability to deal with slow employees. After all, anyone that is not motivated will not work very quickly.
Ask yourself this question – are you a good a manager? Good managers make sure their crews are well trained. A good manager does not take for granted the importance of training and development. Effective training ensures efficient work is being done with minimal errors. It also leads to better quality and innovation… but that’s another issue.
If your slow worker is not trained adequately, then that’s the first place to start. If they are distracted or talking or goofing off to much, that’s an easier situation to fix. Some people are just slow learners and need a little extra time to get the hang of things. Some people can take all the time in the world and still never seem to get it.
Whatever the problem is, the answer is generally the same: confrontation. Document the problem for a while before taking any action. Note what you think the problem is and what you see. Then take the slow employee into your office or someplace private (always perform your disciplinary conversations in private) to discuss their deficiencies.
Tell them what the problem is. No need to get angry or upset, just calmly tell them that their productivity is not adequate and if it does not improve, then you’ll be forced to take disciplinary action. Offer your suggestion of what you think is causing the problem. Then ask what they think might be causing the problem.
They may have their own explanation or they may totally agree with you. Either way, be very clear about what you expect going forward and discuss a way to ensure that whatever the problem is, it will be overcome. The ball is now in their court.
Over the following weeks, document the results. They may put in a ton of effort and bail themselves out of trouble. That’s great! Give them a big ‘attaboy’ for turning around a bad situation. Employee recognition can go a long way towards helping someone go the extra mile and it shows that you really appreciate their hard work.
More often you’ll find that under-achieving, slow employees tend to stay that way. Slow workers are slow workers and they are not interested in changing for anyone. Write ups are typically the answer in this case. Progressive write ups (usually three) lead to termination. An employee working slow cannot be allowed to tarnish the company’s culture.
One of the best management tips for new managers is that you can’t fix everyone. Just get the most out of each person that you can. And remember that not everyone will work out. Give them a fair chance, train them adequately, and make sure they always know where they stand in regards to performance.
In the end, dealing with employees who work slow will hurt morale for the whole team and must be dealt with before they cause too much damage.
employee working slow