Five Steps to Improve Employee Work Habits

If you believe your employees aren’t as productive as they could be, you’re not alone. Countless employers in the U.S. and around the world have the same concerns. It’s no wonder. Recent studies suggest that workers are spending more and more time doing personal business on the Internet, and your company loses money for every hour an employee wastes during the work week.

Some business owners and managers have looked into how to block websites in an effort to resolve the issue. But setting up an Internet block isn’t the answer. If you’ve wondered how to block websites, it’s typically done with software that actually blocks entire categories of sites – some of which your employees may actually need in order to do their jobs, which is why an Internet block won’t work.

The best way to address the issue is by taking these few simple steps that will help to motivate your employees to perform better.

1. Measure the amount of time that each employee is engaged doing productive, business-related activities on the Internet each day.

2. Compare the productivity of all employees, then establish a minimum standard that each employee will be expected to meet in order to satisfactorily perform his or her job. Tell each employee what that standard is.

3. Meet separately with each employee to discuss the worker’s job. Try to determine why he or she lacks motivation, and what would be an effective motivator for that individual. Remember that money isn’t the only motivator. Some workers may want to be named “employee of the month” for doing a great job, while others may want a special parking place or more flexible work hours.

4. Establish attainable goals for each employee. This is a step-wise process, so don’t overwhelm your employees by expecting them to improve drastically within a short period of time. Instead, set up small weekly goals that are attainable, and be sure to recognize each employee’s accomplishment. For example, if John Smith would like to work four 10-hour days rather than five 8-hour days in order to have more time with his family, tell John that he can have the schedule if he increases his productivity by a certain amount over the course of the next month. Set up weekly goals for him – for example, ask him to process 10 more claims the first week, then another 10 the second week, 15 the week after that and so on. At the end of the month, John will have accomplished the goals you’ve established for him and you can reward him by allowing him to work four-day weeks on a trial basis.