Motivated to Do Nothing: How to Handle Lazy Employees

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Did you know that unhappy workers cost the US up to $550 billion a year? As a boss, you’ll always work with difficult people.

Are you wondering how to deal with lazy employees? Not to worry! In this guide, we’ll go over how to deal with unmotivated workers.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out!

Dealing With Lazy Employees: A Guide

Schedule a meeting if you notice your employees lazing around and not working. Go over work goals, offer insight into potential advancements, and job training opportunities.

Set Aside Time to Talk

If an employee is acting lazy, it’s imperative to call them out on their behavior in a private setting. You don’t want to belittle them in front of co-workers. Remain polite when pointing out what you’ve noticed.

During a formal meeting, give constructive feedback about what’s going on. Remind them their role is essential to the business, and you believe they can perform well.

If they are having difficulty with managing tasks, go over ways they can focus their time. This article goes into more detail about the importance of time management. 

Readjust Goals

Your employee might need a reminder of what you expect from them. If your worker has been in the same role for a long time, they might lose self-discipline and motivation. They might have started to create their own set of rules to follow.

This is where you can help lead them back to the right path. Outline a clear direction your employee should work towards. Make sure they agree on these targets. Set a common goal and add to it as your employee improves.

Provide More Training

Your employee will feel like you care if you offer further training opportunities. They could expand on their current skills or refresh their knowledge. You show your commitment when providing training.

Your employee will feel more motivated to do well within the organization.

Outline Consequences

Once your employee has the tools they need, set consequences in place if they don’t deliver. If an employee is making mistakes all the time or not finishing projects on time, give them a formal warning.

Set a time limit on this warning. You can set other consequences if they don’t improve.

Offer Incentives

Consequences are useful, but incentives are as powerful. If an employee has the potential for a reward, they may work harder. If you choose this strategy, think about what incentive would appeal to your worker.

Add Responsibilities

An employee might become lazy because they’re bored within their role.

After talking with them, review their responsibilities and give them more duties. This won’t change their title or salary. It will help your employee feel valued in the company.

Opportunities for Advancement

If your employee feels like they have no room to advance, they will feel unmotivated at work. They might clock in and out to receive their paycheck at the end of the month.

If your employee was once a key player, try and create an opportunity for them to advance. This will give them hope that there’s a chance to grow in the company.

Learn About Their Interest

Get to know your difficult employees. Find out their interests. This will help you identify their strengths when brainstorming about their role. Most employees like some aspect of their job. Give them duties that relate to these interests.

If an employee’s skilled with numbers, give them a project involving statistical work. Make sure this project doesn’t take a lot of time away from their regular tasks.

Provide Feedback

Your employees might have a difficult time if they don’t know how they are doing at their job.

Let them know if they are doing an excellent job by rewarding and praising them. Throughout their time working with you, let them know if they are doing a poor job as well.

Highlight that your feedback isn’t an attack but meant to help them see where they can improve. If they are never told how they are doing, they might continue working in a mediocre manner.

Be Visible in the Office

Some employees need a higher level of supervision compared to others. Get out and chat with your employees often. Go over the projects they are working on and deadlines they hope to meet.

Don’t single out the struggling employee but keep a closer watch on the team. This will help an under-performing employee become more productive.

Keep Track of Poor Behavior

Document your employee’s behavior while working through the methods above. You want to see if they improve at all. You may want proof of poor behavior and the steps you took as their superior in case you fire them.

Another reason why you want to have a record is that you can see if there has been any improvement over time.

Decide When to Dismiss an Employee

You can’t help an employee who’s unwilling to try and change their behavior. If this is true, you might need to fire them. Consult the human resources department to make sure you’re following proper protocols.

Let the other team members know the reason for dismissal, so they don’t worry they’re next. 

Want to Learn More?

We hope you found this article on dealing with lazy employees insightful. Take the time to meet with them in private and go over ways they can change and grow.

Don’t forget to bookmark our site, so you’ll have easy access to our resources.

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