Employee Counter-Productive Behaviour: Reasons and Solutions

Counter-productivity is a detriment to any workplace and can spread quickly amongst employees. Every business tries to curb or eliminate it whenever possible, but the reality is that there is no clear way forward. As an employer, confronting it head on with an employee could potentially cause unwanted tension or create unease in the workplace. Fear not! There are other solutions to circumvent disastrous scenarios and increase productivity at the workplace.



A missing employee affects the entire workplace, with the rest of the employees usually having to pick up the slack for the absentee.

Solution: Absenteeism is a difficult problem to tackle because of the difficulty in distinguishing between legitimate and poor excuses for missing work. Some companies have instituted mandatory sick leaves, in which an employee receives a specified number of days each year to use as sick. While this may not be a viable option for every company, it does provide a counter measure for sick call, as well as reduces the spread of communicable diseases.



With the internet so readily available to employees, it is a potential tool for distraction via personal e-mail or social media.

Solution: Institute a policy that prohibits personal internet usage and make it clear that violators will face consequences. Another viable option is using a software to track or monitor productivity. Block websites and let employees know a tracking software is installed. This will discourage cyberloafing.



Being sociable isn’t necessarily a bad trait. However, to constantly socialize at the workplace is to drag down productivity for more than one employee.

Solution: Be the role model that your employee is sorely missing and inspire them to share in your enthusiasm and work ethic. An employee will be encouraged to follow in the same behaviour as their employer, so set a good example and follow company policies and procedures.



Goldbricking refers to an employee avoiding an objective or task, which can drastically disrupt workplace productivity.

Solution: Organization is the key to combat goldbricking. Make clear what tasks must be completed by the end of the day and delegate them clearly to employees to avoid confusion or excuses.

A clear and definitive set of policies and standards is the most effective method of combatting counter-productivity. It sets a precedent for all employees to follow and discourages deviant behaviour.



Alex Correa | DBPC Blog