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What to do when you have identified an unproductive employee?

The productivity of work should be estimated as the effective results from the use of working time, based on the employee's job description. The result of productivity is the number of worked hours, sold goods, implemented project, etc.


1. Types of employees working unproductively

2. Тип №1: An Attractor

3. Тип №2: The Warrior

4. Тип №3: An Avenger

5. Тип №4: The Dodger

6. How to properly and effectively motivate individual employees and the team

7. The most original ways of motivation

8. Conclusions

Types of employees working unproductively

If an employee doesn't cope with the work plan set for him, delays solving tasks that are part of his duties, evades responsibility, then we can talk about a decrease in labo productivity. The manager needs to deal with this situation immediately. And the first step is to understand which employee is unproductive and by what criteria to identify him. A simple time tracker Checkiant will give the information to the manager about how much time each team member worked on a specific task and how much time he was busy with work, and not with extraneous matters.

If such a person is identified in the team, the manager must first discuss the following issues with such an employee:

  • has he/she a desire to earn more;
  • is he/she satisfied with the amount of salary;
  • does he/she conflict with any of his colleagues;
  • what is the atmosphere in the team;
  • does he/she want to move up the career ladder or is everything fine with him as it is;
  • is he/she satisfied with the tasks that are set for him;
  • does he/she have any questions about the work of the management.

First of all, you need to understand why productivity is falling, what to do in such situations and how to protect your business from such problems?

There are four types of unproductive workers. Let's consider all of them.

Type №1: An Attractor

This category of employees causes a feeling of irritation among their colleagues. This is the first sign to take a closer look at the person. They dislike this person because he/she is everywhere. The attractor person always wants to be the first, he tries to draw attention to himself, interrupts everyone, expressing his opinion, always  give his two cents into other people's conversations, talks too much, but at the same time perform very little. He doesn't bring the work to its completion, so there are practically no results. It seems that the subordinate performs the duties, but the effectiveness of this is minimal. It is often said about the attractor person that he/she is "starred".

The main task for this type of employee is to attract the attention of everyone possible. If it doesn't work out productively, they can use negative factors.

What to do with such an employee:

  • do not argue — extra words will only lead to the detriment;
  • if the employee is very annoying, he can be stopped by a silent movement of the hand, expressing the sign "stop, stop";
  • it is important to give a person motivation to achieve attention by other methods, such as work results or effective project proposals;
  • it is important to praise him for his real achievements and do it publicly, but you should not praise him on every slightest occasion;
  • it is necessary to express dissatisfaction with his work tete-a-tete.

The attitude of the attractod person sounds like: "I must attract the attention of the boss, because if he is interested in me, then he respects me."

Type №2: The Warrior

This type of personality wants to be in charge. No one has ordered him to do anything and no one can force him to do anything. He wants to influence the situation, to be "at the helm". Such behavior can cause colleagues only one emotion — anger. They want to show to this person that everyone is equal, and  he/she is not the main one here. Conflicts begin and, as a result, a decrease in work productivity.

Warriors like to challenge others. They are real saboteurs. If there was a discord in the team, then most likely the reason for this was the instigation of the warrior to another employee.

His main rule at work is: "I will forse everyone to do what I say." He wants to get a lot of power, but doesn't know how to achieve this by constructive methods.

The warriors is sure that he is listened to only in those cases when he will be the main one.

Methods of reorientation of the warrior:

  • remember that the use of force will only make it worse, since for this type of worker is not as important to win as the process of struggle;
  • there is no need to get into trouble, it's better to distance yourself from the conflict and then the warriors become bored, they lose the enthusiasm;
  • it is important to let the employee make the choice personally. This must be done so that he feels his influence in the team;
  • give him/her an important, responsible position, give him/her provide a goal;
  • publicly point out the positive aspects of the employee, praise him/her in front of colleagues.

The warriors work unproductively, because all their strength and energy are directed to seizing power, finding allies and defeating dissenters. This is the most common type of inefficient workers — 70%.

Type №3: An Avenger

The most insidious type of workers. Their main goal is to return a double amount of offense to the one who caused it to them. Such people deeply experience their humiliation, wounded pride and loss. The Avengers believe that they were treated wrongly and unfairly.

It is possible to identify such an employee by secrecy, isolation, a constant desire to quit, lack of initiative. At first glance, a vindictive person seems calm and balanced, even harmless. However, his/her "evil" lies deep inside. And he/she carries it for a long time.

An avenger is prone to accusations, lies, theft, damage of property. He will easily tarnish the reputation of a colleague out of a sense of resentment. His compliments are "black", he/she likes sarcasm.

How to deal with the Avengers:

  • the first thing that is recommended to do is to dismiss this person;
  • if there is a desire to leave the employee, then you can use a trick, saying that he is on the verge of dismissal;
  • you can talk face-to-face to restore the relationship;
  • the avengers need to be given the floor, the opportunity to express their feelings and say the offense out loud;
  • it is important to remain calm and cool in conversation with them;
  • it is necessary to understand what the cause of the offense is and, if possible, resolve this issue.

Such an employee is unproductive. He greatly spoils the atmosphere in the team, makes you sad and incites aggression. Fortunately, this type of employee is rare.

Type №4: The Dodger

This is a person who always doubts. Such people are never confident in their own strength,  they constantly whine, try to seem helpless, choose the simplest types of work for themselves and always ask for help. This type of employee greatly slows down the productivity of the team.

Such personalities must be identified immediately. If you find the freeloader promptly, the business will not suffer.

Unless this is done, the manager will face the following problems: firstly, he will start to help him out of pity, then the employee will sit on his neck, and then the aggression, anger and powerlessness will appear.

What stimulus to choose for a dodging worker, depending on the situation:

  • you need to talk to him cheerfully, but calmly;
  • it is important to praise him for his achievements;
  • do not go too far with criticism;
  • it is unnecessary to give the dodger large projects, it is better to divide them into separate small tasks;
  • you need to convince the employee that he is an important link in the team and without him everything will collapse.

The dodger pretends to be a martyr, so everyone around him eternally pities him and wants to help him even to the detriment of their own work.

How to properly and effectively motivate individual employees and the team

In addition to the types of unproductive employees, there are several other reasons why the employee constantly messes up and pulls the entire team to the bottom. Among them:

  • banal unwillingness to work;
  • desire to receive a decent salary, but do it at a minimum;
  • there is a misunderstanding of the tasks and goals assigned to him;
  • negative atmosphere in the team.

Now about what to do with a lazy employee and how to reeducate him. A demotivated employee — trouble in the team. There are just a few effective kinds of motivation:

  • material incentives — an increase in wages by 5-10%, bonuses, discounts on services that are very effective, for example, for employees of online stores, payment for training, advanced training, repairs in the office, purchasing new furniture, buying a gift;
  • prospects for personal growth — to give the employee opportunities for self-realization, a social package, improvement of working conditions, increase in earnings, encouragement for development in the position;
  • moral reward — praise in front of the team, posting a photo on the honor board, free admission to the boss's office to discuss working moments, granting the right to vote, permission to create a flexible work schedule.

It turns out that lazy employees may well turn into labor bees if they are given the impetus to do so. And what exactly — it is up to the management to decide, but first you need to have a conversation and understand why such people are depressed, lazy and unmotivated. Having made an analysis of the employee's personality, you can find an effective way to combat unproductiveness.

The most original ways of motivation

In some companies, managers take into account the temperament of their employees in order to properly and effectively motivate them. For example, the peculiarities of the work of melancholic people are very different from the work of choleric people, while sanguine people extremely differ from phlegmatic people. To understand the temperaments of all subordinates, collective psychological testing can be carried out.

If the company has an unmotivated employee, it is worth using the Walt Disney method. It can be called ‘playing on ambition’.

There were hundreds of different departments and specialties in his corporation. Some were very prestigious and enhanced the reputation of employees, while others, on the contrary. The least popular were laundry facilities in hotels. Nobody wanted to work there, because it was a low position and not prestigious. What Walt Disney did: he renamed laundries into textile services. That's all. The position began to sound cool. Even though only the name has changed, as everything remained the same.

Today, in the same way, many managers resort to this trick, calling the cleaner the cleaning manager, and the washerwoman the washing operator, etc.

You can also use the method of the internal reward system. This is not about the boss, but about the colleagues. To do this, you need to create a corporate forum in which each of the team members can speak, leave a review, express gratitude or write a complaint about their colleague. This approach is quite effective, because no one wants to see a negative post on a public site.

Despite all the classic and original methods of motivation, the most effective of them are time and wage tracking systems. For example, the simple time tracker Checkiant is distinguished by its simple and intuitive interface, extensive functionality, stylish design and affordable subscription price. It is possible to track the working hours of your employees, manage projects, calculate wages, keep records and much more with its help.


In order to properly manage the work of a team, it is important to distinguish between productive and unproductive individuals.

If you do not want to fire an employee, you can try to give him a chance, talk to him, give effective motivation —  material, moral, or with the prospect of career growth.

To monitor the productivity of office or remote workers, you can use special time trackers to track time and money.

See also:

Time traps and how to fight them

How can a work team use the time-tracker Checkiant? 6 simple examples

Deadline – friend or foe

Top 10 factors that affect productivity

OKR for company development