How to identify an unproductive employee

A lagging behind employee pulls the team back. He/she is not efficient enough compared to others – he/she seems to work, but in fact he/she just wastes the employer’s time and money. Such a “weak link” must be identified if not at the interview, then at least in the first month of work. And get rid of the ballast.

Modern technological solutions help HR-specialists monitor work processes and identify “weak links”. But first of all, as doctors say, “you should not look at the diagnosis, but at the person”. Behavior in everyday life is difficult to fake, underperforming employees give away the loser’s attitude to circumstances.

Kind of sluggish.

Such an employee can be identified at the interview stage. A weak handshake, monotone, little emotional speech, and slumped shoulders are all components of the portrait of a lagging employee. Such a candidate is likely to fail at a job interview.

But it also happens that similar “symptoms” begin to appear in those who have been on staff for some time. The first thing we do is to find out what is going on. Maybe the person has something wrong and needs help. Sometimes the lack of energy is just a consequence of overwork and the employee needs to rest.

But if sluggishness becomes a norm and there are no visible reasons for it, then such an employee will find himself or herself in the laggards. Professional burnout is present. Or he/she has chosen the wrong kind of activity. The danger here lies not only in the fact that the sluggishness will affect the productivity, but also in the fact that such an employee will influence the team, creating an atmosphere of apathy.

“Slow down.”

Slowness is not the same as sluggishness. An employee gets the job done, just at an inappropriate rate. Whether it’s due to personal temperament or lack of skills, the fact remains that a sluggish employee slows down teamwork. This is especially critical when it comes to project work in a team, when the speed and coherence of everyone depends on whether the task will be completed on time or not.

Nowadays there are many tools that allow tracking employees at what speed they perform the tasks assigned to them. A simple observation of personal timing will allow a company to identify laggards. However, it is important to understand that there are no benchmarks: an employee’s work speed is determined by the average work speed of the entire team. A sluggish employee slows down any team, no matter which one he or she is on.

Doesn’t produce a stable result

Stability is a sign of skill. If an employee of a company produces excellent results for a month or two, then no results at all, it is a reason to think whether the team needs him or her. A player who cannot guarantee consistent achievements is difficult to rely on, and can let you down.

CRM systems can also help to identify unstable employees. You can see what tasks have been completed and in what time frame, and assess the employee according to clear and unambiguous indicators.

Doesn’t fit with the team.

A person who cannot get accustomed to the team is very likely to fall into the category of underachievers. Although this rather applies to companies where groups of employees are regularly formed for project work. And if an employee cannot accept this practice, his or her career in that place is unlikely to develop.

In the second round of the interview, the candidate may be offered to work in a team. Based on the results of the work, the HR specialist collects feedback from the team members and the team leader. If the project participants are dissatisfied with the interaction with the applicant, even the supervisor will not be able to influence the situation – the test has not been passed.

Squeamish and irritable.

There can be two reasons for conflict: personality traits and accumulated job dissatisfaction.

In the first case we are talking about people who may be excellent professionals, but have a “talent” to sow confusion everywhere, to quarrel with people and provoke unpleasant situations. Further scandalous intrigue can ruin the work of the team. Such characters can be identified at a job interview by means of an in-depth interview as well as by talking to a previous employer.

Conflict caused by fatigue is quite another matter. This is a sure sign of a lagging employee. The poor person is in a vicious circle: work stresses and does not bring satisfaction, negative emotions accumulate, work duties irritate, colleagues cause internal aggression, small conflicts begin, which grow like a snowball. At the same time, productivity is rapidly decreasing.

There are situations when it is necessary to help a person to break out of the vicious circle, but more often than not, a lagging employee leaves the company. Business is business – the result is more important than anything else.

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