I know this post is going to cause controversy…but…

This is a common problem:

My Filipino employee works, but it’s like he’s only working 2 hours/day instead of 8.

What do I do?

First let me say I struggle with this too!

Second: This post is not intended at any of my current employees…even though some are currently struggling with this.

It’s not always the case that they’re being dishonest with you or working for someone else.

Often the problem is with me. I haven’t given clear instructions. I haven’t paid enough attention to what they’re working on. I haven’t given enough direction for them to do what I want them to do.

So how do I deal with it?

Tough question.

The first step is to look inward.  Make sure you’re blaming yourself first. You’re taking the responsibility of not having done enough training, spent enough time, given correct instruction.

If that doesn’t work…

Some things I’ve done include:

  • Ask them if they’re struggling with something.
  • Mention times when they were very productive vs. times they’re not very productive (now). Ask what’s going on.
  • Ask who else they’re working for. We both know this is happening sometimes.  I hate it. But it’s good to get it out there.
  • Ask what they’re struggling with.
  • Tell the importance of the daily email.  If I don’t get the daily email, my business falls apart.  Sometimes they forget this.  I need the daily email to track what’s going on. Sometimes just getting the daily email is enough to get them (and me) back on track so that work quality goes up.
  • Have a frank conversation. “Look, I know the difference when you’re working well and when you’re not.  It’s pretty obvious to me.”
  • Use time tracking software more carefully.
  • Ask why things are taking so long.  What do they need more instructions on.

There is no perfect solution to this!

Ask lots of questions

It’s amazing what you might find out (like they’re pregnant and didn’t want to tell you because they thought they might lose their job…so instead of telling you, they just worked less and hoped…)

I try really hard not to let people go. This situation has put me really close.

I’d love to hear your experience and how you deal with this situation.

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