7 Strategies To Handle A Lazy Employee

A study by Paychex.com surveyed 2,000 employees across various industries and found out that the majority of these employees would waste more than an hour every day.

This results in lost productivity and costs the company hundreds and thousands of dollars.

In fact, companies that have more engaged workers earn 2.5 times more revenue than companies that don’t.

So how can you deal with a lazy employee so it doesn’t affect your overall productivity? Here are a few ways:

1. Clear the confusion

According to Paychex.com, the biggest reason employees stated for being disengaged was lack of work.

But you and I both know that that is not true. There’s (almost) always work but it is possible that employees are not aware of updates objectives or they don’t make the effort to check for updates.

Don’t give lazy employees this excuse – be proactive and keep updating each department.

Another thing managers can do is to give feedback to employees about areas where improvement can be made.

2. No more breaks that last forever

Yes, criticism can be uncomfortable but constructive criticism is necessary if you want your employees to improve.

You know what I am talking about – employees that go to the bathroom and for a lunch break and come back an hour or two later.

This is unacceptable but it’s hard to manage these kinds of employees since they can easily lie their way out.

For instance, you catch an employee coming in to work and he or she says they just went out for a smoke five minutes ago when in reality they were gone for an hour or even more hour.

The only way of dealing with these kinds of offences is to set up strict time regulations and expectations.

3. Provide training

It’s not always laziness that’s behind unproductive employees. Sometimes they just don’t know how to go about carrying out their duties.

In such cases, it’s not wise to let employees go since hiring is an expensive process. Instead, the better alternative is to train them.

Training has a ton of benefits such as the creation of a competent internal source from which higher positions can be filled, increased productivity, and fewer accidents.

4. Provide incentives

21.4 percent of employees are disengaged from work due to lack of better pay and incentives to work harder.

Just like a company has organizational goals, the employees have personal goals – getting good pay, being in a respected position, moving in a better house, etc.

But the truth is no matter how hard the manager tries, sometimes aligning organizational goals with personal goals of certain employees can be really hard.

In such scenarios, managers can use incentives.

Incentives can either be financial such as increased wages, bonuses, etc. or non-financial such as co-ownership, employee appreciation program, etc.

Either way, incentives can motivate employees and increase productivity.

5. Count the offences

Don’t give employees unlimited get out of jail cards. Three strikes and they’re out. But letting employees go is complicated and if not done right, legal complications can pop up.

The best (and safest) way is to document every single offence. This proof will come in handy if you ever decide to have a discussion with the lazy employee or if you need to fire him.

Another benefit of documenting bad behaviour is you can identify repeat offenders.

Analyzing the patterns and what rules they are breaking can help you come up with measures to stop such behavior as well as help amend ineffective rules.

6. Sit and talk

If a star employee is suddenly underperforming, something could be going on in their personal life, they could be under a lot of stress.

It would mean the world to such employees when they see their manager actively reaching out to help them. This may even improve their performance.

On the other hand, if an employee is consistently missing deadlines, showing poor work ethic, and just being lazy overall, it’s time to take action.

First, discuss their recent performance and find out what’s going on. Regularly check in on their work and if their performance improves, great!

If it doesn’t, bring out documented proof of them being lazy and get strict. Inform them that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Tell them what they’re doing wrong and how they can execute their duties better.

Note: Complaints from other co-workers should be kept anonymous and vague to avoid conflicts in the workspace.

7. Remove obstacles

It’s possible that there may be obstacles and distractions in the workspace that’s stopping employees from performing to the best of their abilities.

It could be a disturbing co-worker, lack of information or tools required to carry out tasks.

It’s also possible that due to these distractions, they completely forget about upcoming shifts or duties and sit idle. Identify such obstacles and distractions and get rid of them.

In the end, you as a manager may just have to let the lazy employee go but if you followed these 7 ways, you can be confident that you have given them every opportunity to improve and make things right.

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Life and work have their share of stalemates and snags. Work to eliminate obstacles and roadblocks in all you create. Focus on simplicity, efficiency and always move forward.