When businesses expend between 15 and 50 percent of their budget on payroll, every wasted hire can be devastating to the company’s bottom line. Industrial settings, in particular, must remain acutely aware of the outsized impact that unproductive employees can have on the entire team’s performance. Are some of your employees not meeting your expectations? In most cases, these simple steps can get them back on track.

Tips for managing unproductive employees

1.      Give them immediate attention

Bad habits are hard to break, and the longer you let a disturbing trend continue, the harder it will be to correct the problem. Though addressing deficiencies in an employee is often the hardest part of your job, it is also one of the most important ways to keep production on track. Giving immediate attention and guidance to poor performers will increase your productivity while also preventing costly turnover in the future.

2.      Make your goals clear

It’s not enough to simply state you aren’t satisfied with an employee’s performance. In order to see improvement, you have to be very specific about your expectations. Fortunately, manufacturing and industrial work is a field in which productivity metrics are easy to track – as long as you’re paying attention. Make your goals clear and realistic, but also firm. Your employees should understand clearly what is expected of them, how to improve, and when their progress will be reevaluated.

3.      Assign a mentor

While each employee deserves your personal attention, it’s impossible to dedicate your entire day to training. Already, managers report they spend over 17 percent of their time (that’s nearly a full day every week) coaching underperformers, and such training could easily overtake your entire schedule. To avoid unnecessary distractions from big-picture issues, assign an experienced, trusted employee to each case. With a short period of close oversight, most employees are able to hit their stride.

4.      Help them see their worth

Many unproductive employees don’t push themselves because they don’t understand the value of their contributions. If their experience and pay is the same whether they try hard or not, then why should they put in the extra effort? To counter this attitude, sit down with your employees and explain how each worker’s contributions affect the company and the team. Since even highly motivated workers can be encouraged by these reminders, consider having regular meetings that examine the team’s productivity and the value of each member.

5.      Know when to cut your losses

Firing employees is a costly move both in financial terms and in the hit your team’s morale takes. Regardless, unproductive workers who fail to improve despite repeated efforts can be an even greater drain on your company and your team. Though the decision should never be taken lightly, dead-end employees should be replaced with someone who is worth your efforts.

Looking to grow your team?

Finding driven, productive candidates is difficult, but it’s a process we’ve mastered. At Expert Staffing, we’ve helped hundreds of companies like yours find the talent they need to build strong, effective teams. To learn more about part-time, temporary and permanent staffing solutions for your business, contact us today.