What To Do When Coworkers Are Not Doing Their Job

When coworkers socialize so much that they are not getting their work done on time, how do you handle?

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Pair The Socialite with a More Task Oriented Employee to Get the Job Done

From a resource standpoint, this is not a two-person task. Moreover, Kevin’s overly sociable tendencies are apt to work against this solution. Look how he took his eyes off the goal to help Camila.

Working with other people can be a positive motivator for Q3 behavior, but in this case, pairing two work friends is asking for trouble. Answer A is not an optimal approach to too much socializing in the workplace. Answer C is a better remedy.

Don’t Assign a Sociable Task to a Gregarious Employee

You may think it is better to keep Kevin away from dealing with vendors–Option B. He might get bogged down in socializing. However, if a tight action plan is generated, it can keep Kevin on task.

In general, it’s good motivation to play to the needs of Q3 sociability. Employees who enjoy people are usually good representatives of the company. Assignments that include dealing with people as part of completing the task are win-win. But won’t Kevin spend an inordinate amount of time with the vendors?

If you have employees similar to Kevin, the key to dealing with over socializing is to generate a detailed plan with frequent check-backs to help them maintain focus. See Answer C.

Work Out an Action Plan with Timelines. Follow up.

Every employee should be viewed as unique. Someone with Q1 independent or Q2 avoidance tendencies might resent your close attention to the specifics of carrying out this fairly simple assignment. However, employees with Q3 overly sociable behavior can be easily distracted from achieving a goal.

In this case, Kevin didn’t want to disappoint Camila by turning down her request for assistance. Developing a detailed action plan with a timeline will remind him of his responsibility to the task. In fact, Q3 often appreciates that reminder.

Meanwhile, it’s important that you not simply dictate an action plan (unless it’s a crisis situation). Direct reports will be much more invested in an assignment if they are central in planning the steps to completion. Get their buy-in by asking them how they will proceed. Then, when you both agree on the plan, hold them to it. You now have a good recipe for what to do when coworkers are not doing their job due to too much socializing in the workplace.