Business Tips

How to Make Lazy Employees Productive Again?

Laziness in life and in business usually leads to poor results. People who just waltz through days at work like they are walking in the park tend to drag everyone else down. 

As a manager or boss, it’s your job to stamp this kind of attitude out. Granted, you want employees to have a rest every now and then, but you don’t want them taking advantage of you, running down the clock. 

Here’s what to do if your employees are lazy and you’d like them to be productive again. 

Correct Bad Behavior Quickly

If there’s someone on your team who isn’t performing to their full potential, let them know quickly. Don’t let it drag on. 

There are two reasons for acting quickly: 

  1. You limit your losses. If you can deal with a problem as it emerges, you reduce lost wages and opportunity costs
  2. It improves team morale. Coworkers don’t like it when a member of your organization doesn’t pull his or weight. 

When you discipline employees, it sets the tone for everyone else. It makes it clear what standards you expect. If you don’t act, other people may follow suit, and your enterprise’s productivity will fall sharply. 

Find Out What’s Really Going On 

Sometimes employees might seem lazy when, in fact, they either: 

  1. Don’t know what they should be doing
  2. Don’t have the proper skillset

Before wading in and accusing anyone of sloth, make sure that you check off both of these boxes first. In many cases, the employee may simply not know the proper process to follow. Thus, they may be making mistakes without even realizing that they are doing something wrong. And, second, they may be trying to complete tasks that are above their pay grade. Check first that they have all the necessary skills and then find a coach or trainer if they don’t. 

If laziness really is the issue, get to the bottom of it. Perhaps the employee is bored or just doesn’t want to work anymore. Just make clear the standard of work that you expect and see whether the employee is willing to meet it. If they are not, then they will probably be better off working elsewhere. 

Check That You’re Not Overworking Your Colleagues

Laziness can sometimes appear to creep in when colleagues are experiencing burnout. They’re so exhausted that they don’t have any motivation to work hard and get on with the job. 

If it’s an administrative issue, use workforce scheduling software. Solutions like these tell you whether you’re overworking any individual employee, showing you how many hours they contributed to the firm in the past week. 

If it’s a stress issue, find ways to modify your working practices. Let employees have their weekends free from hassle. Don’t email them late at night when they are trying to get to sleep. Save it for the morning on the next day. 

Go In With The Facts

Employees might complain to you that another team member is lazy. But as a business leader, it’s your job to go in armed with the facts (and only the facts). Don’t just rely on hearsay. It could be wrong. Delve in and find out what the employee has been doing. Ask them yourself and get them to provide evidence. Then compare it to what other team members are managing to achieve. 

If it becomes clear that it is an efficiency issue, disciplinaries probably won’t help. What the employee needs is better training. 

Provide Professional Development

Some employees get better at their jobs over time through experience alone, but they tend to be quite few and far between. Most colleagues need ongoing training to top up their skills and help do their job more effectively. 

If there is a lazy employee on your team, develop a plan to help them. It might be training, providing them with more resources, or offering them stress reduction strategies. 

Whatever it is, put it to good use. See it as an investment in your firm that will make you more profitable in the long term. Remember to set realistic, smart, and measurable targets so that you can check your employee’s progress moving forward. 

Celebrate Success

Lastly, it is crucial to find ways to get employees hooked on hard work and dedication. To do this, don’t just rely on pay. Instead, when an employee improves their attitude to work, find other ways to reward them. For instance, share their contributions with the team or have an award ceremony. The more you appreciate them, the more it will incentivize them to work hard. 

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