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  The joy of every employer is to see that their business is growing and reaching the set targets and goals. And when the opposite is the case, and the company does not meet specific expectations, the employer is likely to be frustrated. If the proper measures are not taken, the business may not survive for long.
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It is important to note that at the centre of business growth is high employee performance. In this article, we will review 8 reasons why employees are not productive in the workplace.
  • Lack Of Resources

Lack of resources has been identified as one of the reasons employees are not productive. This lack could take several forms, not limited to the time, money, personnel and supplies needed to accomplish given tasks. When an employee lacks one or more of these resources, he will be unproductive. The best way to solve this problem is to make sure that these resources are sufficient for the employee to perform given tasks. Also, make sure that there is room to report and file complaints by the employee when resources are insufficient rather than working with few resources.
  • Lack of Sense Of Belonging

When an employee does not feel welcome or at ease in a company, it will negatively affect their productivity. When there is a feeling of hostility towards him from his employer or colleagues, it can affect his level of concentration and cloud his sense of motivation within the company.  CEOs and senior executives need to get rid of the toxicity in their workplace and make it welcoming to new and old employees.
  •  Skills

Sometimes, the lack of simple skills can affect the productivity of an employee within the company. The reason could be that the employee has been assigned roles that are not his primary competence. The employee may also be poorly prepared for a promotion or new role. This performance problem can be solved by training, retraining and mentoring the employee.
  • Obstacles

Obstacles could be that employers are slow to address certain workplace issues, coworkers are not collaborative enough, or clients are not responding to agreements. This can affect productivity. This problem is often beyond the employee, and employers can step in to help manoeuver the situation.
  • Unclear Goals

When there are no well-defined expectations for a given project, or the employee is ill-informed or misinformed of what is expected of him, it can lead to poor performance. To solve this problem, the employer is to make the employee aware of well-understood expectations to eliminate any confusion or miscommunication.
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  • Poor Rewarding System

Studies show that a poor rewarding system accounts for poor performance among employees, despite the commitment to business growth. Employees easily slack off when their efforts are underappreciated. A good rewarding system is a catalyst for high performance among employees. In organizational studies, it is called the “carrot” approach.
  • Lack Of Disciplinary Culture

If a company lacks disciplinary ethos, poor performance in the workplace is inevitable. When penalties are absent, some employees may treat their responsibilities shoddily, believing they can get away with anything. In organizational studies, applying disciplinary measures is known as “the stick” approach. Adopting the “the stick” is advised if you want to see productive output among employees. However, discretion is advised on the part of the employer, and all investigations for poor performance must have been done before applying the stick approach.
  • Lack Of Motivation

When an employee lacks motivation, his productivity is negatively affected. An employee might seem bored or burned out if his work is monotonous and repetitive and stressful at the same time. Also, when his talents are underutilized, he might get worn out easily. However, being burned out should not be an employee’s excuse for doing a bad job. It is the duty of the employer to re-energize him and give him roles that are commensurate to his talents. Where nonchalance is observed in an employee, adequate sanctions should be given.


There you have it – 8 reasons why employees are not productive in the workplace. Employers should always watch out for these red flags if they want to experience business growth. Featured Image Source: iStock
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This article was first published on 19th August 2021


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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