Bill Gates once said “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Do you agree?
While lazy or snail-ish employees might be able to find an easy way to get their job done, it does not mean they are good for your business. As mentioned in our previous article, lazy workers could bring negative outcomes such as low job performance, safety violations, and even serious injuries. At some point, they become a virus of all-business inclusion that if you do not fix or get rid of them, you will put your organisation in danger.
As laziness can affect employee morale and reduce productivity, you should take further approaches to help your employees who experience this phase to have faster and better performance. These are approaches you can follow.
Step #1 Identify the signs
First move is that you should know and understand lazy workers by identifying their snail-ish signs. These are signs of lazy employee: they delegate small tasks to avoid having to learn, often give excuses for not doing harder tasks, avoid opportunity to self-improve, do bare minimum but want big bonuses, often take long break, and say other weak excuses.
Step #2 Set clear, specific expectation
Setting expectations can help sluggish employee have better time management. For example, tell them that you want their tasks tomorrow at 4pm and you receive no excuses for late submittance. This way, they cannot procrastinate and avoid the tasks assigned for them. However, lazy people tend to make excuses if they have to deal with harder tasks. In this case, it is better to ask their problem, offer help, and keep them close to job they have to finish. Although it seems that you are micromanaging them, you should clearly help them to step out of their comfort zone.
Step #3 Have private talk
Private one-on-one helps you identify further about their symptoms of laziness. When conducting the conversation, it is important to stay calm and remain polite to the employees. While you might be sick of his behaviour, you should not let anger consume you and make you regret your decision later. During the conversation, remind your employee that he is important and his job role is important for company. Showing their importance for the business might change their behaviour of laziness.
See also: Signs of “Snail” Employees
Step #4 Offer more training and give them tasks they enjoy
Every personal and professional development of your employees, including the lazy ones, should be your priority. Although the laziness signs might show that they do not want to improve themselves, you can send them tasks they enjoy and offer additional training when needed. By showing that you care about their personal growth, it will result positively to their performance.
Step #5 Remind both the stick and carrot
State clearly that every job that is not done within designated time frame will receive consequences. This can force sluggish workers to perform better. For example, you can give advice on every careless mistake your employee make. If they do not improve, you can set additional consequences such as giving more tasks on things they hardly do.
On the other hand, if your employees do better than expected, you should provide incentives. Perks and benefits are good tactics to reward your employee’s hard work and efforts. Make sure you make worthy incentives such as bonuses, extra days off, or paid weekend getaway.
Step #6 Document poor behaviour
Documentations is needed to see your employee’s behaviour in a whole picture. Do they remain lazy or do they already change after several warnings? There are two steps in making this documentation: 1) create written proof of poor performance and step you took to help employee; 2) create list of improvement over time. This also includes any minutes from meetings you have and times needed to correct employee’s mistake.
Step #7 Know the limit
There are many ways you can do to motivate lazy performers, but sometimes, they just cannot be helped. So, if you have done your best for them but they keep being sluggish, maybe it is time to let them go for good. Make sure to consult to your HR department regarding their behaviour and follow your company protocols to avoid lawsuit after dismissal.