When managers initially notice an employee not giving in their best at work, they let it go assuming it’s a one-off thing. But when an employee keeps slacking off and is not showing interest in work, they can end up wasting close to 6 hours per week. This is a huge loss for any company.

While micromanaging employees can be detrimental to their productivity, not having any boundaries or deadlines can cause employees to slack off. Distractions are another reason for employees not performing optimally both in the office environment as well as while working from home.

The problem with employees underperforming is the pressure it creates on their coworkers. An employee taking longer than usual breaks can delay their work and cause their entire team to suffer. So how can you help such employees get back on track?

Here are 5 proven strategies to put an end to such behavior:

Tips To Ensure That Employees Don’t Slack Off

1) Clearly Communicate Expectations:

Clearly communicate expectations

Before you blame an employee for slacking off, make sure that you are not doing anything that is causing them to inspire that kind of behavior in them. Not receiving clear guidelines and information from the manager often keeps employees confused and makes them disinterested in working.

To avoid this, make sure employees are well aware of what is expected of them. Setting clear expectations about work culture standards like what behavior is acceptable at work is also equally important.

2) Ask For Updates:

The number one thing to keep an employee accountable is to seek updates about their work. If they have been clearly delegated work and know what is expected of them, wait for the appropriate amount of time they will need to finish a certain section & then enquire about it.

This is very important when dealing with remote employees because they are not physically present in the same space as their manager. There are very high chances of them procrastinating work or getting bored due to isolation. Asking for updates keeps them on track.

3) Track Their Time:

Track their time

Time tracking apps help in understanding how much time is being spent on an activity. Encouraging your employees to use these apps will keep them accountable about how they are investing their time.

It also helps them understand their unhealthy habits like frequent use of social media platforms or longer than usual breaks. The use of time tracking apps ensures employees stay alert and cut down on distractions. Consequently, you can boost the overall productivity of your employees.

Moreover, using time tracking software for your employees can help reduce multitasking situations. Even if the intention to multitask is to finish more jobs, your employee might lose focus and attain less in the long run. That’s why with time tracking, they’re restricted to placing only one task within a certain period of time. Moreover, this allows you to complete your task more efficiently and reduce slacking off among your workforce.

So, if you’ve decided to use software to track your employees’ time, you can browse the web to conduct more research. You can check your prospects’ websites or read reviews to know which software is right for your business needs.

4) Keep Them Busy:

A simple trick is to keep employees sufficiently busy so they have no time to do other things. This does not mean overloading them with work, nor does it mean pushing unimportant work on them.

You can set aside time for them to expand their knowledge through a company training program delivered by an LMS. This will help them stay busy while learning new skills. The best part is, LMS makes it easy for employees to decide how much time they want to spend on learning and most LMS reviews speak of how this offers flexibility to employees.

But aside from undergoing a company training program, you can also keep your employees busy by requiring them to attend impromptu group meetings and discussions. This can be an excellent way to share events, build rapport, and reduce the chances of slacking off.

Another way to keep your workforce productively preoccupied is to offer them rewards for those who will show excellent work performance in the company. When the employees know they’re rewarded, they’ll be encouraged to work harder, complete tasks on time, and improve their overall productivity.

5) Set Up A Private Meeting:

Set up a private meeting

Even after all these measures if an employee still shows disinterest, the last thing you can do is have a one-on-one conversation with them. Let them know that you are not pleased with the decline in their performance and want to understand the reason for it.

If there is something that they need help with, give them the necessary support and encourage them to get back to focusing well on their work. If the reason is just plain laziness, be transparent with them about your displeasure and let them know that they will be under observation to ensure they are working diligently.


An employee not working hard enough can be disappointing for any employer/manager. That’s because it can also lower the business’s overall productivity, resulting in potential revenue loss and other operational problems. Use these tips to deal with such an employee and get them back on track. Doing so can also help make everyone fully committed to their jobs, thereby improving the efficiency and profitability of the business.

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