Each organization has two kinds of employees – productive and unproductive. Productive employees are the apple of their bosses’ eyes, they are loved by everybody, except the other type of employees – the unproductive employees. Productive employees are everything that the unproductive employees want to be, without putting in any effort. Productive employees never give excuses, even when they have made a mistake or they have missed out on doing something. Unproductive employees have an excuse for everything – excuse for doing things as well as excuses for not doing things. In fact, there is a very popular poster that can be seen in a lot of offices, listing out popular excuses and asking employees to just mention the excuse number from that list the next time they want to use that excuse!
Unproductive people give excuses, that’s a fact. But what are the most popular and commonly used excuses by these people? If you hear an excuse, how would you know you are staring at one of the species of unproductive employees?
Here are ten most popular and commonly used excuses by the unproductive people, so next time you hear them, you know exactly what to think –
1. “I am not paid enough”
Well, everybody complains about their pay check at some point of time or other. But Unproductive people have a habit of using that as an excuse to not do things. They keep feeling that they are never paid enough and never taken notice of, and always get the worse appraisals, and that is reason enough to avoid doing work at all.
2. Procrastinate – “I will do that later”
Later in the day, later in the week, they keep pushing it and then they end up staying in office overnight and working like a maniac to get things finished overnight. Then they complain that people are not being understanding and just with them. They bide away time when they have it, and then end up doing a shoddy job due to lack of time.
3. “That’s not on my job profile”
Using the job profile as an excuse not to do things is one of the oldest excuses in the book. Whenever there is something extra that needs to be done, some extra effort that is required or some extra time, anything that might threaten to bring them out of their comfort zone (or maybe we should call it lazy zone) and it becomes something that is not a part of their job profile.
4. “What’s in it for me?”
When asked to do something, they try seeing if they will ever get any credit for it, for whom the task has to be done, who will benefit out of it and how much, and what would they get out of it. If they see no potential gain in it, they will not do it. They will say it right away that they don’t see any benefit for themselves out of doing it. They don’t care that project get slowed down and numbers get skewed because they were busy measuring their own rewards.
5. Fear of failure- “Are you sure that I can complete this?”
Fear of failure haunts everyone and once in a while shakes everybody’s confidence. But only the truly unproductive employees can think of using it as an excuse not to do things. They will say that they are afraid they will not be able to do the task to satisfactory standards, and somebody would just have to do it all over again. They will say that they are not skilled and trained enough for it and are bound to fail. Here, the fear of failure is more of an excuse for failing on purpose.
10 Excuses of Unproductive People- Infographic
6. “I just forgot”
Well, that is one of the dumbest excuses ever. As school kids we would say that when we forgot to do our homework or forgot to bring a book to the class. We did that because we were taught to be honest, but when an unproductive employee says that, he is using it as an excuse to cover up for the fact that he did not think that task was important enough to command his attention and action.
7. “I Don’t know how to do it”
They will say they don’t have the skills for it, they will say they are not trained for it, they will say they don’t know how to do it; and what it means is that they don’t want to even try doing it. And if they really don’t know how to do it, they don’t want to learn, they don’t want to ask for anybody’s help; they would rather be a chair-potato and spend the day thinking about football and baseball and when it would be time when they can leave and go to the pub.
8. “There was an emergency”
They say old habits die hard. Remember the time when in school some kid would always have an emergency at his home – somebody would be sick, or he had to go somewhere and couldn’t finish his homework. These habits just continue into adulthood. So every time there is an important task to complete, the unproductive employee has a family emergency to deal with – a sick wife, a sick mother-in-law, a funeral to attend, a home repair to oversee, a doctor’s appointment to be present at, etc. Sometimes you might even end up being surprised at how creative they could get with brewing up emergencies in your head; so much so that, had they put even half of that effort and creativity in their work, they would be nominated for being ‘employee of the month’!
9. “I have earned it”
Unproductive employees live in a state of denial. They feel they are the most hardworking employee in the organization and are always under-rewarded and are going unrecognized. So they tend to proclaim themselves that they have earned it – that break, that moment, that task, that leave of absence, everything. They live in a state of false euphoria and relish it.
10. Feigning sickness- “Sorry I was sick yesterday”
How often have women in your organization left for the day or avoided meetings and you kept wondering what happened? If you are the boss and that female employee came to you and said you are having cramps, if you are a man, you perhaps had no clue about what was wrong and didn’t feel it was something you should be probing any further; if you are a woman you can sympathize with her and let her go home or take a break. If you are a man and you take this excuse to your boss, it is never going to work. Feigning a headache, a stomach ache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, uneasiness, indigestion, etc. are common excuses. Most of these problems are not so hard to feign and do not require immediate medical attention or any serious prescriptions.
It is these very excuses that set apart productive employees and unproductive employees when they talk. There are times when you can’t get the work done, but productive employees take responsibility for it, unproductive ones just shun it out. Be productive, or may be the next time you want to make an excuse, you can just mention the excuse number and save time and your breath!