Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
LEADERSHIP / OCT. 10, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How To Deal With Carelessness In The Workplace

Every organization has expected standards of quality for its workers. However, in many cases, there are some employees who will fail to meet these standards due to carelessness. Sloppy work manifests in different ways. For instance, it could be making in being rude to customers, failing to return phone calls or not proofreading documents. Carelessness in the workplace can have a detrimental effect on the whole team’s goals, productivity and morale. Worse still, it could damage the organization’s reputation. It is therefore very important to deal promptly with any cases of carelessness in your team.

Here are some guidelines which will help you curb carelessness and build good habits in your team:

1. Approach people directly

Some of your people might not see the gravity of their mistakes, or even be aware of them. When you notice that one of your team members is careless in their work, approach them in private and voice your concerns. Ask them if they are facing any pressures in their work. You might find out that their carelessness is due to personal problems or external pressures. Once you find out what the problem is, think of how you can help alleviate it.

2. Reevaluate your perceptions

Before accusing a team member of being careless in their work, take time to reevaluate your perceptions. Are your expectations unrealistic? Is the workload too much for them? Have you given your team member sufficient time to carry out the task? At times, the problem is not that your team members are sloppy, but that your perceptions are wrong. Therefore, be sure to set achievable goals for your team.      

3. Use checklists

To ensure that processes and tasks are carried out to completion, you could consider introducing checklists to your team. Ask your team members to create a To-Do list on a daily basis to ensure that they don’t overlook any step. Ask them to also write what they hope to accomplish by the close of business. Having a daily checklist will help them to stay focused as well as motivated.

4. Offer training and resources

At times, carelessness at work is a result of inadequate skills, knowledge or training. A training needs assessment will help you establish if there is a need for further training. You should also find out what additional resources your team member requires to enhance the quality of their work.  

5. Encourage mentorship

Another great way of helping a careless team member is by placing them in a mentorship relationship with a colleague who performs well in the workplace. By spending time with this high performer, your team member will understand the quality of work expected of them. This is likely to result in an improvement in their own performance.

6. Establish a performance agreement

You could consider creating a performance agreement that outlines your objectives and expectations. Discuss the agreement with your team member and make sure everything is clear to them. This agreement will hold them accountable for the quality of their work. If they continue being careless, then you will need to take appropriate disciplinary action. At times, for the sake of your organization, it would be advisable to relieve the person of their duties.

Sloppiness in the workplace could be attributed to many factors. The tips above will help you deal with careless work habits, thus enhance the productivity of your team and organization.

Image courtesy of Tasting Table

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