Work With Your Employees – Not Against Them

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you’re probably concerned about the amount of time your workers spend doing personal business on the Internet during work hours. As it turns out, you have good reason to be concerned. Recent studies have shown that an alarming number of employees use their online access for personal reasons during the course of each workday. In fact, many employees are abusing their Internet access and wasting several hours at work each and every week. Imagine the amount of money your company is losing because of this lack of productivity!

There are several different ways in which you can attempt to resolve the problem. Many companies have tried blocking websites in an effort to keep their employees focused on their work. Although Internet blocking is effective in certain circumstances – such as parents who want to keep their young children away from questionable websites on home computers – it seldom works in an office environment. Many of the programs intended for blocking websites work by blocking entire categories of sites, some of which your employees may need in order to effectively do their jobs. In the long run, Internet blocking may actually be a detriment and make it difficult for your workers to be productive.

A much more reasonable approach to the problem is to find a way to address the real issue, which is a lack of motivation on the part of your employees. Finding a way to measure each person’s level of productivity, then establishing a standard that each employee is aware of and will be expected to meet, is a great way to start. After that, talk to each individual to find out what would motivate him or her to do a better job. If your budget is limited, don’t worry – money isn’t the only motivator. Many employees would love to have a special parking space, a more flexible work schedule or even the opportunity to work at home from time to time.

Once you understand what the effective motivating factors are for each employee, the next step is to establish goals for each worker to meet. After a worker meets a certain goal, award that accomplishment with praise and whatever will work as an effective motivator for that individual.

Don’t be afraid to be innovative in your efforts to motivate your employees. Consider setting up friendly competitions among workers if you think that would work in your office environment. Better yet, challenge each employee to, in essence, compete with himself by keeping track of the worker’s progress and continuing to raise the expectations for the employee’s performance.