“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” This infamous Ben Franklin quote that has become an idiom of the English has, most likely, been ingrained in our psyches from a young age. When we are young, our parents teach us not to procrastinate with school work and chores, but sometimes adults in the workplace reverse course and begin to procrastinate in our jobs, creating inefficiencies, decreased revenues and increasing the cost of doing business.
There are many reasons that your employees may be procrastinating, including:
- They are disgruntled, unhappy or lack motivation toward their jobs.
- They don’t understand what or how to accomplish their jobs.
- They want things to be overly perfect, so they delay getting started.
- They have too much on their plates (i.e., they get overwhelmed).
Of course, some people are, by nature, procrastinators, but the reasons above are most commonly reported as the cause of the chronic workplace inefficiency known as procrastination. The procrastination pitfall is a common challenge in the workplace, but it is one that can be overcome. Here are some workplace procrastination tips to help your business stay operating at optimal potential.
Employ These 6 Strategies ASAP To Keep Procrastination At Bay:
- Start on the day before day one. Your strategy to avoid workplace procrastination should start before your employee’s first day. Start with clear and accurate job description matched up to accurately qualified candidates, then analyze the next steps of your hiring process. By recruiting and hiring employees that possess the right skills for the jobs at hand, you’ll get off to a good foundation in your quest to avoid procrastination pitfalls. Incorporate checkpoints in your interview questions, reference check process and in your interview testing process to look for signs that your potential new-hire has a procrastination track record.
- Clarify goals and expectations. Now that you’ve done your best to hire the right employee for the right role, it’s quintessential that you set them up for success with a strong start. By communicating company-wide (as well as departmental) goals clearly and defining the expectations of the specific role, you’ll alleviate gray areas that could lead to workplace procrastination.
- Make communication a two-way street. As business owners try to avoid workplace procrastination and correct it when it occurs, opening the communication lines with employees can be the greatest way to drill down on the causes. Create multiple communication vehicles to help employees communicate with management regarding issues that could lead to and improve upon workplace procrastination. This communication strategy can consist of surveys, anonymous comments boxes and push notifications via mobile app or intranet tools.
- Train, train and retrain. Bake procrastination avoidance strategies into your training program for all employees. Be sure to train managers on ways to spot, address and avoid workplace procrastination issues among their teams. Of course, any successful training program will be rolled out on an ongoing basis to reinforce and refresh the message.
- Work on your company culture. A team of motivated, engaged employees feels connected to the company mission at a deeper level and less prone to procrastination. Company culture can be the edge your business operations needs to keep procrastination and all its repercussions at bay. Creating a strong culture may consist of employee recognition programs, career development opportunities as well as work life balance considerations.
- Trust but verify. It’s important to place trust in your team and trust your hunches regarding your business, but the importance of measurement can’t be discounted. By setting up systems to measure deadlines, productivity and detect dips before they have detrimental impacts, you will gain real visibility into your business operations. Using this data, you can avoid workplace procrastination as well as be able to quantifiably reward the positive efforts of your team.
Letting procrastination run rampant in your workplace can cost your business customers, impact your bottom line and create a negative culture. If you make smart hiring decisions, set your team up for success and measurement performance, however, you’ll be able to avoid the complications that workplace procrastination can bring.
To illustrate the importance of procrastination for your business, check out these hypothetical numbers from Glassdoor. The average salary for a mid-level software engineer is $90,000. If this software engineer avoids work for only one hour today, your company loses $11.7000 in salary alone per year – not to mention the impact on your bottom line.
Spring-Green Lawn Care has been refining its operational support and training for over 40 years. From operations, training and ongoing support, we work hard to ensure that our Spring-Green Franchise Owners have all the support they need to succeed. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com if you would like to learn more.