How to Approach This Situation at Work?
Last edited 06/12/2018 - 01:51
Just wanted to get some ideas about approaching this situation at work. I am a mid-level manager at a public organisation. Lately, I have noticed that some staff members (mostly staff under 25 years) are spending excessive time on non-productive items (e.g. Social Media, web surfing, YouTube etc.). I don't want to micromanage and I think 20-30 minutes a day, in addition to their usual breaks is still acceptable, but this trend is way beyond this. Although, I have all the avenues available, including disciplinary action from HR, but I wish to avoid that option, atleast for now.
My senior manager and director do want our performance to improve, but not at the cost of anyone's welfare or toxicity in the work environment. This public organisation is a very high-volume work environment. I have had one-on-one conversation with staff and without attacking them, and just subtly hinting at things, 2 people have admitted that they are being "lazy" and "not as enthusiastic as before". But right after the conversation was over 1 person straight up opened up their phone to do some non-work related thing, as soon as they returned to their desk.
I agree that there would be certain amount of burnout as well. How would you approach this situation, so we can improve productivity ? What is the expectation in Australia ? What are some cultural differences, I might be overlooking? What would you think of me walking to a person, knowing that he/she is on social media, and asking them straight up - "Are you working?" "What are you doing?". Am I being a pushover? I think the downside of this would be that staff become resentful over time and will need someone to keep checking up them on a regular basis, which I do not wish to do. Further, I think that if that fear is not the best motivator, and behind my back things would be back to usual. I have tried appreciating them, whenever I notice anything good as we don't have much budget for financial incentives. But this has not worked too well. What strategies would you use ? Or what have successful strategies you have seen in implementation.
I count my work hours and if I am being honest there are days when I feel that my productivity was low. On those day, without any prompt from anyone, I would spend extra time on the weekend or stay back, to ensure I was being fair to the organisation. I feel dissapointed when I see people cutting corners and being dishonest/inconsiderate towards the organisation and its customers.
Please be absolutely ruthless and honest in your assessment.