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Warning: There's more than one way for your employees to go on a 'go-slow'

by , 18 March 2013
South African magistrates embarked on a 'go-slow' this morning after government failed to address their demands for a restructuring of their salary schemes. This 'go-slow' will have 'very serious consequences for ordinary South Africans, particularly women who need access to the courts to get maintenance and resolve other matters,' warns the Business Day. And while a 'go-slow' will put a halt on productivity in the courts, there are numerous ways for people to go on a 'go-slow' strike without stating their intentions to do so. Here's what you need to know to nip time wasting behaviour in your company before it spirals out of control...

'A 'go-slow' strike is where workers unite and take two to three times as long to do the job. It causes profits to fall and eventually losses to be incurred,' explains occupywallst.org.
The problem with a 'go-slow' is that your employees still get paid for attending work, and in most cases you won't even know it's happening for the first few days. This can severely hamper your company's productivity and lead to a huge loss in company revenue.

And it gets worse.

'Go-slow' strikes are notoriously hard to prove.

That's why you need to keep an eye out for these common time waster habits. By knowing what to look for, you can quickly find out if your company could be a victim of an unannounced employee 'go-slow'.

Keep an eye out for these common time stealers – they could be a sign of an employee 'go-slow'

1. Meeting overloads
While it's necessary to have regular meetings to keep your business on track, scheduling unnecessary meetings is a great way for your employees to look like they're working without getting anything done.

How to solve: 'Discuss at your next executive meeting if there needs to be so many meetings. Request that only the important ones be held,' advises The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. By keeping a tab on the number of meetings your employees have to go to, you can ensure they aren't using meetings as an excuse not to work.

2. Constant failure to meet deadlines
If your employee usually meets deadlines without any issues and starts to miss even the most basic ones – taking two to three times as long to do a simple task – it could be a sign that something's wrong.

How to solve: Be very strict about deadline adherence, explains The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. If your employee misses more than one deadline, call him aside to discuss what's going on. And don't forget to keep an eye out for deadline missing patterns in a specific department, it could help you stop a 'go-slow' before it even gets started.

3. Spending hours on tasks that don't fit your business plan
If there's an important task or deadline coming up and your employee is otherwise disposed with a less important task that doesn't fit your business plan, watch out. 'Looking like you're busy' is one of the key elements in an employee 'go-slow'.

How to solve: Sit your employee down and highlight the importance of certain tasks or projects. Advise him of the consequences of not getting these done and delegate other less important tasks to other employees.

And remember, the act of slowing down production to force you to agree to demands is very seldom an individual thing. Look for group behaviour. If you face a 'go-slow' at your company, treat it the same way you would an unprotected strike.


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Warning: There's more than one way for your employees to go on a 'go-slow'
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