My employee is always on social media despite work

Friday May 24 2019

Caroline Mboijana

Caroline Mboijana 

By Caroline Mboijana

I have an employee who is always on social media. He checks Facebook like his life depends on it. This social medical addiction is affecting his productivity. I have talked to him countless times but he shows no sign of prioritising his work. What should I do?

Dear Sarah,
This is a common challenge that employers have to address these days. There are some organisations that will centrally block social media from their office network. While this may seem like the ideal solution, it is only temporary. The employee will still have access to social media via their own data network.
The key question to ask yourself is whether the job holder values their work and if they recognises the importance of delivering on their objectives?

Speak with him again and since his distraction is affecting his productivity he needs to be aware that this and failure to perform now falls into the category of a performance issue.
It is important that you highlight where his performance is failing to meet expectations and come to an agreement on how, with your support, he is going to improve.
In addition, I will suggest you revisit the role, its scope and deliverables. You may find the role is repetitive and mundane, hence perceived as boring by the job holder; or it may be complicated and difficult that the job holder is avoiding to address the challenges.

In either case you may need to rewrite the job description with the appropriate goals and KPI’s, which must be shared with him.
You could also re-assess the job; person fit him to the role, which may result in unmet expectations, as well as a poor fit that will motivate him to transition out of the role and consequently, you having to identify a more suitable person for the role.

Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)