The pandemic has undoubtedly slowed everything down. People are feeling isolated and may be lethargic and disengage. Employees working remotely are facing issues getting work done efficiently as their team members are scattered across different geographical locations. Students are struggling to continue their learning in this phase and have to take online classes.
For a project manager, having a slow worker in the team is concerning as a single person can completely derail a project due to their low speed and productivity. Delivering work late can build the wrong reputation for a team and its manager. As managers have to ensure work gets done by a fixed deadline, there is a serious need for increased speed.
So what should you do if you have an employee who is slowing down your team? And how can you get them to realize that their work is impacting the entire project? Here are top four ways to get an employee to work faster while supporting them in the process:
To help a slow performer, you need to first understand the reason for their underperformance. Isolation from the pandemic is a major reason for many employees disengaging and performing slower due to lack of motivation.
Instead of assuming anything prematurely, have an open minded conversation with them. You may end up discovering that they lack resources to complete a task or they are simply struggling to do it because of inadequate training. Sometimes the reasons are as basic as an employee constantly getting distracted due to their phone notifications.
Once you have understood the reason for their slow pace of work, help them understand what is expected of them. Instead of getting aggressive about their current style of work, show support and help them build a good work schedule to deliver work faster.
It’s unfair to expect immediate improvements from employees without even providing them clear feedback. Set realistic expectations about their performance and communicate clear deadlines to push them to focus more on achieving them. Make sure they know that you will be there to provide them all the assistance.
One of the most common reasons for slow work performance by an employee is their lack of time management. Employees who don’t schedule their work based on priority often end up wasting time on unimportant tasks and missing work deadlines.
Providing employees time tracking tools like an employee hours tracker helps them understand how they are spending their time. When they are able to identify how much time a certain task takes, they can organize their work more efficiently to deliver work faster.
As a manager, it is important for you to create a positive work environment for all employees. When you have helped a slow worker to find ways to speed up their work execution, you must show faith in their ability to take the advice constructively and work on growing better.
If after a certain period an employee doesn’t improve or accomplish any measurable goals, you must have a closed-door meeting and be firm with them about their performance. It is crucial to present the facts clearly along with constructive feedback. Showing employees that their contribution is valuable for the company encourages them to deliver better results.
There is no doubt that employees are being expected to do more in shorter time frames due to the adverse impact of the pandemic on several businesses. Rather than shaming employees for their slow performance, try to understand the reason for their underperformance and support them to encourage their growth.