How to Motivate Lazy Employees

When your company hires employees, you hope they turn out to be over-achievers that are a lot of fun to work with. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Sometimes, your company ends up hiring lazy employees. These folks might be late for everything, pass their work off onto others, disappear when they are needed or blame someone else for their poor productivity.

While there’s a different strategy for each kind of lazy employee, all of them depend on a manager being firm but fair, and holding people accountable.

Here are a few kinds of lazy employees and how to motivate them.

The Ghost

They say The Ghost works at your company, but the thing is – he’s rarely seen around the office. Actually, he may roll in from time to time to flash a winning smile and catch up on the office gossip, but he’s rarely there when you need him.

The Ghost thrives in areas without clearly defined rules. Therefore, if you need him to be at his desk during certain times – make sure he knows it and any repercussions if he isn’t there.

The Victim

Everyone knows The Victim is a lazy employee, but somehow – it’s hard to pin blame on him. Missed deadlines are always because someone else didn’t do their job. They’re always leaving early or coming in late because their car broke down or the bus didn’t come on time.

The Victim needs to know that you are keeping track of his excuses, and when they start to pile up, he needs to be told this pattern could result in actions against him.

The Mini Boss

The Mini Boss has the same responsibilities as all your other employees; he just somehow finds a way to pawn off his duties onto others. Coworkers are always doing him favors, or clients are always picking up his slack. The problem with The Mini Boss is the demoralizing effect he can have on staff members who actually do their own work.

By regularly checking in on The Mini Boss, you make it harder from him to pass off work onto others. You don’t need to be oppressive or constantly shadowing him. You just need to keep tabs on what he is doing each day (and let him know that you are keeping tabs).

The Troublemaker

Spending his time gossiping, spying on others and kissing up to management, The Troublemaker is more interested in making others look bad than he is in taking care of his duties.

Because he may not be breaking any company rules per se, calling out The Troublemaker is a tricky thing to do. The best approach is to keep an eye on him in a friendly and engaging way. This allows you to catch him in the act if his behavior does cross a line, and it also can help you identify the root cause of his actions so you can address them.

At Labor Temps, we help companies who are looking to move on from their lazy employees, should it come to that. Please contact us if you are looking for highly-skilled and motivated professionals.