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Tips for cutting down on socializing and stepping up the work ethic

It's great when employees within an office get along well. Having employees who socialize and chat in a friendly manner with each other is far better than the drama that ensues in a workplace where no one gets along.

However, too much socializing can compromise the overall productivity in the office. Employees need to remember they are not at work to socialize; they are they to work. If you find you are having problems with this in your office, the following are some tips for cutting down on socializing and stepping up the work ethic:

Bring the problem to the attention of your employees.
If too much socializing is really becoming a problem, your employees have the right to know about it. After all, they may not even realize it. Simply call a meeting or send out a memo saying there is too much socializing going on and productivity is slipping because of it. Keep things light and be careful not to single anyone out or embarrass anyone.

If it is just one or two people who are doing the brunt of all the socializing, it may be beneficial to call that person in to your office individually and let them know that their socializing is not only affecting their own work habits and productivity, but those around them as well. Sometimes people just need a reminder, and they will get right back into their habits of working well.

Keep track of what employees are doing
Perhaps there is a lot of socializing going on because there is not enough work. Make sure you are keeping the work load at a comfortable pace. Set deadlines and meet with employees periodically to go over what they are working on.

You may also consider keeping an eye on lunch times. An extra 15 or 20 minutes on lunch really adds up during the week. Remind employees to keep track of time when taking breaks or lunches.

Provide motivation and incentives
One way you can step up the work ethic is by giving employees a reason to do so. Praise is a powerful motivator and can sometimes be all you need. If you "catch" employees working productively, completing their projects on time and correctly, and contributing to the project. This can help employees see their worth in terms of the project.

You can also provide incentives in the form of bonuses, gift certificates, department lunches out, and so forth. In particular, group incentives are a great way for your employees to step up their work effort as a whole.

Have consequences in place
Sometimes, the reverse of positive incentives provides motivation for employees to cut down on socializing and step up the work ethic. This could mean taking away group incentives, calling the offenders into your office for a verbal warning, then a written warning, and so forth. No one wants to lose their job, and the possibility of doing so is certain to send productivity rates high. However, it is almost sure to reduce office morale, so be careful to balance it with praise and positive motivation.

Make sure that all employees know there will be consequences for not working and for spending too much time socializing.

Too much socializing can hamper productivity within the workplace. The above tips will help to keep that in check.

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