Work-arounds For Lazy Managers

by Sharlyn Lauby on November 4, 2012

I saw this post titled “Top Employee Time-Wasters and How to Prevent Them” and couldn’t resist sharing. Honestly, there wasn’t anything surprising on the time-waster list: social media, meetings, breaks, etc. We’ve heard all that before. What surprised me were some of the suggestions on how to “fix” time-wasting activities. Such as using website blockers and tracking software.

Those things do not fix time-management problems in your workplace.

Let me repeat that – control programs don’t fix problems with employees wasting time. They are nothing more than work-arounds for managers who don’t want to take the time to fix it the right way. The answer isn’t creating a “Big Brother” environment. The answer is properly training employees, setting expectations and then holding people accountable.

time wasters, employees, social media, managers, accountable, engaged, training, lazy

(Rant Warning!) Managers should spend more time working with employees to make sure they know their responsibilities, can perform them to the company standard and then recognize them for a job well done. If managers focused on those things, I’m not even sure that some of the other preventive measures mentioned in the article like giving rewards or being visible would be particularly noteworthy. They would just automatically happen as part of managing employees. Imagine that!

It’s no waste of time for managers to develop employees versus restricting their behavior.

Give employees the tools to manage themselves. Create an engaged workforce. That’s how you fix time-wasting activities. It’s not about exercising more control. It’s about creating more freedom.

Image courtesy of Robert Smith

{ 4 comments }

Christopher de Mers November 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Couldn’t agree more Sharlyn. Rules, tools & procedures don’t solve root cause problems like lack of engagement or feedback or coaching. And I’m not naive; not all manager-employee interaction is positive I know. But rules can’t manage. People manage.

Sharlyn Lauby November 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

So true Christopher. So true.

John Hunter December 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I agree. You need to set the right conditions – which includes training, common understanding of expectations… Prescriptive rules rarely are effective.

“automatically happen as part of managing employees” – sadly we seem to do little of this. We have managers responsible for employees but the actual coaching and management of employees is not much of what most managers do.
John Hunter recently posted..How to Accelerate Quality Management Practices

Sharlyn Lauby December 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Totally agree John. Thanks for the comment!

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