It’s safe to say that no employer wants to work with a lazy employee. Not only do they waste time, but lazy employees can also do massive damage to productivity – at least, that’s what many employers believe, and rightfully so. But it’s one thing hiring a lazy person and quite another thing when a previously hardworking employee becomes lazy. Different factors in the workplace can cause workers to become lazy or act sluggish at work. Focusing only on hiring “active employees” will not necessarily be the solution if those factors still exist in the workplace. So are you dealing with an increasing case of laziness among your workers? Here are some ways to minimize the problem and bring out the best in your workers.
1. Create opportunities for engagement
Bill Gates said it best when he remarked that lazy people make the best employees. Bill Gates is considered by many as the epitome of success when it comes to running a thriving business. According to this business mogul, lazy workers only look for easier ways to get the job done. You can deduce that although some workers are perceived as lazy, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re unproductive. If they’re engaged appropriately, they always have the potential to do so much more. Bill Gates, for example, finds that he’s able to get the most out of lazy workers by testing them with the hard jobs because he expects them to find an easy way to complete them. Of course, this may not be the case for every employer, but ensuring that your workers are fully engaged is a great way to energize them and keep them from being slothful. The most important thing is to find the right employee engagement solution that will work best for your situation.
2. Give them more challenging or different responsibilities
Many employers contribute to laziness at the workplace without realizing it. If your workers have to sit around doing nothing, for example, you can expect some level of sluggishness to sneak into their working habits. In other words, you can sometimes attribute laziness to work not being challenging enough. If your workers follow a mundane and monotonous routine, they will get bored easily and may start being complacent with their work. As soon as complacency sets in, you can expect laziness to start lurking close by. One way to minimize complacency-induced laziness is to give more challenging responsibilities to your workers. Doing this will bring out the best in your hardworking employees. Another option is to switch up their tasks a little, so keep this in mind. Give different responsibilities once in a while or find ways to make mundane tasks more exciting.
3. Reward them
While it may help to give lazy workers tasks, there’s only a thin line between giving more responsibilities and becoming a hard taskmaster. So, find ways to reward your workers for the extra workload. Workers, in general, tend to have a poor attitude toward work when they feel they don’t earn enough for what they do. Even well-paid employees may lack the drive to do more work when they feel their extra effort will not be appreciated. Also, when less-motivated workers realize that their employers notice and celebrate hard work, that can push them to put in more effort at work.
4. Communicate with them
Communication is an essential key to good management. It’s important to first communicate with a lazy employee before you set challenging tasks for them. Different things can cause a worker to perform below par at work, and a lack of healthy and engaging communication will make it impossible to pinpoint what your workers are lacking. So, if you notice some of your staff becoming lazy, speak with them about it. Find out what the issue is and how best to address it. This is especially important if you have a capable member of your working team who has started underperforming suddenly. Next, it is vital to let the worker know that they’re an important part of your business, so keep this in mind. By taking the time to clear the air with a slugging worker, you can quickly create the morale booster they need to start performing at their best again.
But you don’t have to wait until workers become lazy before communicating healthily with them. Always ensure that you create a working culture that encourages communication.
5. Avoid giving special treatments and privileges
Workers who do nothing to earn their positions may sometimes feel less motivated to give their best. Also, workers who feel their positions are secure regardless of their lack of effort will find little reason to work above themselves. That’s why it’s important to give all your workers the same level of treatment – no special privileges.
Also, workers who notice that other employees are treated better than they are may feel discouraged to give off their best. And some workers who may not have gone through the same robust recruitment process as the others or may have secured roles they’re not suited to may lack the motivation to be their best. Plus, such special treatments can send the wrong signal to other workers and lead to worker satisfaction and even disillusionment.
6. Be a good manager to all your workers
Following the previous point, it’s important to be a good manager to every team member. Granted, some may be more talented than others, but everyone plays a role and deserves the same level of treatment. If you cannot deal with every staff member the same way, you’ll end up breeding discontent, contempt, and dissatisfaction. All these can drain worker morale and encourage laziness.
Also, it helps to set unique goals for your workers. For instance, you don’t want to assume that every team member will meet their appropriate deadlines on their own. Instead, set goals with deadlines attune with their strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can hold them accountable and, in the process, encourage them to work at a faster pace.
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