What to do with irresponsible employees?
Often managers face the fact that their teams are trying to shake off the responsibility, shifting the burden of unsolved problems to the boss or colleagues. Small cases of irresponsibility may go unnoticed by the managers: a shy and diligent employee may regularly do work for their lax colleague without notifying the manager. Or coworkers can cover each other lateness for work. Single cases of irresponsibility may easily be detected and eliminated with the help of employee monitoring software . However, if the majority of employees treat their duties irresponsibly, it is a severe blow to the company. You can find out why this happens and whether an employee is irresponsible at the job interview.
Firstly, you need to find out if the employee is driven by fear or it is just a feature of personality. There are two kinds of people: some are really afraid of responsibility and try to avoid it at any cost, and others just do not tend to make changes, they are conservative. It is necessary to determine who is who.
The type can be identified at the job interview through asking the candidate specific questions. Do not immediately ask whether he or she is responsible. It is better to go a roundabout way and ask a few questions like: "You were entrusted with a task, how did you solve it?", "What did you do to get out of some situation?", "Have you reached any result in the solution of some problem and what was it?”
Dealing with irresponsible employees
Another good tool for diagnosing is DISC. It is a tool for evaluating the behavioral manifestations. It shows how a person behaves when making decisions, affects other people, responds to changes, and how well he or she fits the rules and regulations. In this case, the assessment takes place on the S (Steadiness) scale. It reveals how a person reacts to changes. For example, conservative people going through this diagnosis of personality learn that their above-mentioned characteristic is not fear, but rather the desire for stability. They can be described with words such as predictability, consistency, and steadiness. They have a strong need for security and keeping what they have. It is their personality type.
Personal conversations are also effective. If you see that an employee wants to change something, you need to explain that changes are an integral part of work and of life in general. It is the law of the world order which no one can argue with. The employee should accept this fact. Then you can recommend writing the "pros" and "cons" of changes, paying attention to all the disadvantages. If there are too many of them, he or she should discuss this with the colleagues or the superiors and ask their advice or assistance. That is, to see how the employee might turn the cons into pros and who might help him or her with it.
Sometimes the fear of extra responsibility is dictated by the fact that a person is afraid of public opinion. In this case, he or she must learn to leave the comfort zone. On the part of the employee, it can be a reward and praise for every unpleasant finished task. On the part of the management, it is good to give the employee new tasks, which he or she is not accustomed to performing.
This kind of people tends to leave unpleasant tasks for later. The advice, in this case, is to start the week with these tasks instead of delaying them. Of course, after the task is finished it must be followed with praise from both the management and the employee.
If we talk about the first type of people who are actually afraid of responsibility, we mean more of a psychological factor - psychological trauma in the past. If the employee understands that fear is the reason, there is only one way to move forward. He or she should remember the past event or situation that resulted in this fear and to re-live it. But this time it is necessary to step back and observe the situation from the outside and with a positive twist and a favorable outcome.
Answering the question of whether the management should confront the employee who is afraid of taking responsibility, I say that it all depends on the type of personality. If the person in question wants stability, it may not be worth it and it might be more useful to say goodbye to such an employee. And if the person has experienced stress in the past, of course, the way is to go is to work with him or her to overcome the situation.
Altogether, it is very important to "test" a person in advance to determine why he or she avoids responsibility. The rest of the job is on the employee: whether or not to accept this and work with the fears, psychological trauma, etc.