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Procrastination: a corporate hurdle

Priyanka Malik
21st Jan 2017
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“Laziness may seem attractive but work gives satisfaction.”– Anne Frank

There are no free lunches in life. This statement becomes increasingly meaningful as the corporate journey starts. Procrastination acts as a double edged sword – bosses panic when the deliverables aren’t met and employees sabotage their chances of success. A lot of people prefer pretending to work instead of actually doing it. As a manager, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate between slackers and genuine employees.

Image : shutterstock

Image: shutterstock

Here are a few evident signs which might help you do so:

Past track record

Habits don’t change overnight, and neither do people. Therefore, evidence of slacking as a habit can be seen in the past performance record of employees. In the case of genuine employees, their consistency in achieving deliverables will definitely be higher than that of the slackers. Further, the procrastinators will mostly try to give excuses and get away from any kind of onus.

Lack of communication

Provided the work environment is good and the superiors don’t poke their subordinates, employees would always keep their bosses in the loop so as to maintain clarity and give them the updates. In case of procrastinators, any sort of written or verbal communication, be it mails or telephonic calls, wouldn’t be returned on time.

Negative body language

Non-verbal cues often communicate more than speech. In the case of slackers, paying close attention to body language can reveal a sudden change in attitude from positive to negative every time the progress on the project is enquired about. Further, higher anxiety levels can be sensed among such individuals.

Increase in unproductive activities

In the case of genuine employees, breaks are just sufficient enough to increase their productivity once they are back at their desks. Procrastinators may indulge in too many tea and smoke breaks and too much web surfing and casual conversation, without any improvement in productivity.

Also, just knowing the difference between a sincere employee and a procrastinator is not enough. What really matters is to motivate them to become sincere. There is a thin line of difference between manipulating the employees to get your own way and actually motivating them. Flexibility, empowerment, acknowledgement, rewards, and grievance redressal are some effective ways to deal with slacking employees.

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