Busy and Unproductive Employee


Can you imagine a job posting like this:

“We are seeking to hire a training manager that can work long hours and stay very busy and yet be unproductive at all times.  We offer a competitive salary, benefits, time off for anything you want time to do, and long lunches and breaks.  Oh, and absolutely zero accountability to get anything done.”

While this may seem funny on the surface, I know of at least 7 training managers that could succeed at this role because this is how they are allowed to function today!

There is not a single company that advertises for this kind of busy and unproductive employee and yet every company has a few working for them.  As this blog is focused on the training function, I can tell you that plenty busy and unproductive people sadly exist in the training world.

How can they be unproductive if they are so busy?  Well, they are allowed to operate without any kind of training plan, goals or objectives.  They are sent on wild goose chases for solutions to unidentified issues, that have little importance to the operation and are often never implemented.  They are poor time managers, project managers and struggle with email.

Bottom line, being busy is not worth paying someone a salary.  Being productive is worth paying a salary, benefits and promoting this person and their agenda.

So the next time you tell someone you are just too busy to (fill in the blank), ask yourself if you are really productive or just another busy unproductive employee.

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One thought on “Busy and Unproductive Employee

  1. Great post. I see this all the time when dealing with teams that have long term goals of organic growth, or talent development missions to keep them certified and compliant in order to be in business and fill contracts. The problem is just as you stated; no accountability. Technology is a great way to assist in this task as an effective learning management system can help shift some of the day to day busy workloads so that the training professional can stay focused on productivity, not being busy. At LearnSmart, we have nailed this tactic so that all goals are met, and people are progressing, not in pain.

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