Managing unproductive employees can be stressful because it takes up your energy to remain on top of them. After some time, an employee should basically be fully functioning. They mustn’t require excessive amounts of guidance to continue making progress. If an employee is intentionally, deliberately providing underwhelming effort and their work ethic is not promising, HRMatrix is here to divide how to get such employees back to work without creating a toxic and stressful environment.


Firstly, you must observe the pattern of productivity among all of your employees before making the fundamental decision of pointing out which employee is chronically unproductive. Do they exhibit a consistent lack of interest? Do they indulge in their own tasks and do not prioritize their job? It is important to notice how consistent this sort of behavior is before pursuing any legitimate action. In this stage, you can try little verbal reminders however, we understand that this sort of tactic may not really get through to the employee.


If a simple nudge in the right direction does not help or work, then elaborate on the hint. Maybe try explaining why the task is so important and why it needs to be done in a timely fashion. This might get through to your employee, and hopefully, they will implement your suggestions into their work ethic. Guidance is necessary before having any serious or hard conversations. A little bit of advice can go a long way, so reminding your employee of what they should be doing and the significance of their tasks can help them keep it together and increase overall productivity.

Have a Conversation

If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to have a one-on-one conversation with your employee to thoroughly discuss their weaknesses. This is where you not only lay out your expectations and disappointments but also learn about the source of your employee’s lack of interest in their job. Maybe their unproductive work ethic is a recent issue and it is rooted in their personal life. The fact remains that the employee is still unproductive, but leveling with them and being understanding can help them find motivation as they feel acknowledged by their boss.

Give a Fair Warning

If there is no good reason as to why the employee is unproductive, then it is time that you give a fair warning. It is unfair to the business/company to provide a living to someone and in return not have expectations met. If you have tried the little hints, the suggestions, having a conversation, and leveling with your employee, then it is time to actually give a fair warning. This should work as an alarm if the employee truly cares about their job.