Employees who are overly social may be costing your business more than you realize. But how exactly can you establish a link between lost productivity and excessively socializing employees?
According to CareerBuilder, there are a few big productivity killers that can be present in the workplace, based on a survey of more than 3000 employees and 2000 hiring managers.
Here are some of the most common ones:
- Internet browsing
- social media posting
- texting and cell phone use
- smoke breaks
- noisy co-workers
- co-workers dropping by cubicles and private offices
It is not surprising that among the top 10 productivity killers is socializing. If left unaddressed, this can significantly reduce productivity and result in your business taking quite a financial hit from all of the lost hours of work.
So, what can you do to reduce excessive talking in the workplace?
Focus on Productivity
To be honest, socializing is only a problem in the workplace if it affects productivity negatively. If it causes employees to miss deadlines and goals, it creates a big problem for the entire team. But socialization can be healthy in the right environment, which is why it's good to organize regular teamwork and group activities.
Also, make sure that you communicate deadlines clearly and effectively to employees. Competitive employees thrive on deadlines, while the overly social type may not even realize that a deadline is close. A gentle reminder of deadlines may help to get them back on track and improve their priorities.
It’s also very important to recognize that some employees may not have enough to do and they are the ones that may be engaging in socializing at work. Make sure that the workload is spread evenly and that the team has enough work to keep them busy, while not overloading them and causing burn out.
Stop the Real Problem
In some cases, it may just be one or two employees screwing up the office work flow. It’s not necessary to make your whole workforce guilty by association and you should especially avoid reprimanding employees in public.
If you have a specific person who you feel is overly social and always talking to other employees, it might be time to address him or her in private. Explain to them what the problem is and how it can negatively affect the workers around them.
Go to them in private, with a solution for them to be more productive and motivated in the workplace. Ask them if there are any issues that they feel contribute to them being too social, for example, not enough work to do or not having a genuine interest in what their tasks are.
Consider Different Personalities
Keep in mind that there can be introverts and extroverts in a team, and they will handle work situations differently. You will often notice that introverts may be more focused on the work while extroverts will socialize every chance they get. It might also be that some people feel they need more attention or want to be noticed, especially at work, which is why they start talking to everyone around them.
It might be necessary to coach a specific person and remind him or her that it is perfectly okay to be an extrovert, and at the same time, they need to focus on the work, dial it down a bit, and help the team to meet their deadlines.
Adjust the Office Layout
In some cases, you can achieve the same result by simply moving your office layout around. Try to group specific employees together and give other employees a more secluded work space if that's the kind of environment in which they thrive. Allowing an employee to feel comfortable in the workplace is one of the key elements to achieving success.
If an employee enjoys their work, they will naturally be more productive and more enthusiastic toward the rest of the team members.
Move Socialization To a Specific Time To Satisfy Your Workplace's Excessive Talkers
Another great way for business owners to solve the problem of excessive talking in the workplace is to consider scheduling any social activities during a specific time slot. If your whole team is socializing too much, this can be an especially appealing option to consider.
Try to figure out what is behind the reason for the excessive socialization and determine whether they perhaps need a collaborative group effort that can allow them to release stress, socialize, and even boost team morale.
You can, for example, introduce structured, companywide specific break times to help with the issue, even if it means scheduling shorter break times more regularly throughout the day.
You may even dedicate a specific area in the break room for new employees, in which they can meet and socialize during their breaks to get to know one another and talk about any specific work issues they may have.
Alternatively, you can consider introducing a specific social element into your team, such as projects that can be run from time to time. Everybody can add their own input and they can take on different challenges and solve problems together in order to boost productivity.
Find An Alternative For These Useful Skills
Another solution you can consider is to find different uses for the various skills that your employees have. They may need to put their socializing talents to use, especially if they have a lot of free time on their hands. Having someone do what they love automatically makes them more productive and also allows them to feel more appreciated.
This can include circulating employees through various departments and allowing them to report back on their experience and whether they found the work to be easier or harder to do. You could hold regular departmental meetings to address different issues and to keep an eye on the progress of all your staff.
Sometimes you will realize that you simply need to move employees around a bit, perhaps promoting an employee to a management position, moving someone to lead a team or put someone in charge of a sales division. Regardless of their strengths, it's important to focus their social energy on specific areas where they excel in their work.
Introduce an Office Phone Booth
A great way to effectively curb excessive talking in the workplace is to introduce an office phone booth. These phone booths are modern, very versatile, and will definitely allow your employees to do their work without any interruptions or distractions.
Office phone booths are becoming increasingly popular, especially since they are so convenient and effective. These phone booths are durable, easy to move, and have great sound insulation. It has a clear safety glass ceiling as well as an anti-fatigue format and electrical outlets.
They're especially helpful if your employees need to spend a lot of time on the phone, need a quiet space to do their work, or simply need a convenient area they can quickly slip into so that they can communicate with a client. There are different booths available, depending on your organization’s needs as well as the number of employees that may utilize them.
Handling socialization in the workplace can be much easier with a detailed plan of action. Whether you want to increase an employee's workload, introduce wonderful phone booths for them to work in, or simply implement regular team activities, reducing excessive talking in the workplace can be handled effectively, easily, and most of all productively.