Most organizations have a working staff that sets out and efficiently conquers the day. However, it’s common for businesses to have at least one employee who is considered lazy. Taking long lunch breaks, playing on their phone, napping at their desk are regarded as signs of a lazy employee.
Employee laziness can hold up other departments and surrounding employees from accomplishing their tasks. Dealing with a lazy co-worker can be frustrating. Globe News Wire reports 47% of employees feel lazy co-workers are the number one pet peeve. The good news is there are solutions to alleviate the issue. So, the question becomes, how can I politely deal with a lazy employee?
Don’t Assume an Employee is Lazy
There are many misconceptions about laziness. An employee could be working more than you think, but they encounter difficulties along the way. Instead of assuming an employee is lazy, analyze their workload and productivity levels. Dealing with a lazy employee is hard enough, but accusing an employee of being lazy when they’re not is even worse. Approach each situation professionally and keep in mind that every employee is different.
Some employees look at work differently and have their routines. Whether it’s the right approach is another story. Providing constructive feedback may lead to employees increasing productivity levels, but making a false accusation that questions an employee’s work ethic may lead to disaster.
Implement an Employee Time Tracking Solution
A modern time tracking solution is an excellent tool for identifying how much time an employee invests in their daily work without micromanaging. Employees can conveniently punch in and easily record their tasks with the click of a button to reflect time spent per task. If an employee’s timecard reflects that they have worked 40 hours, but there are only 20 hours of work to be accounted for, then chances are this particular employee is being lazy.
Implementing a time-tracking solution isn’t complex. It’s straightforward to perform and extremely useful for the employee to use as well. Employers will have an accurate timecard report each week to understand where productivity is invested.
Set Project Due Dates for Employees
Due dates are great for keeping your team on track for success. It’s essential to remember that due dates should be reasonable and achievable for employees to meet. If a project lacks a due date, then employees are more likely to procrastinate. The scheduled dates should always be thoroughly communicated to your team to prevent confusion.
Valuable resources are available to achieve due dates. Project management systems such as Monday or Asana pack a powerful punch for employers and employees to identify the project they are working on and when it's due. Assigning the proper employee to a project will increase the assignment due date's completion rate. Employees are more likely to achieve their goals and meet the desired deadline for the project when there is a clear and defined timeline placed.
Create Employee and Company Goals
Setting company goals are suitable for everyone. It allows employees to see how well they are performing and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It also helps employers to recognize where there are opportunities to improve. If an employee is not meeting their realistic goals, opening the door for explanation is wise. It could be that the employee is overwhelmed with work-related projects, and the goals they have are far stretched, or it may be a sign that the employee is slacking and not providing the effort required to meet the company goals.
Quarterly evaluations help you and the employee understand the goal progress. Communicating any barriers or issues that may stand between employees, employers, and the company as a whole from reaching their goals is crucial. Once these roadblocks are identified and addressed, the employee could be encouraged to work harder to achieve their goals.
Offer Assistance and Resources to Employees
Some employees may be faced with the "now what" feeling. They have accomplished all their assigned tasks but cannot proceed, and the employer may not know what's holding things up. The employee could be waiting on the required resources to move forward may not be available, or the employee could be waiting on another employee's contribution that is delaying the project from progressing and negatively impacting their performance.
Informing employees to provide feedback about what they need to be productive is vital. Perhaps they need your assistance to help guide them through the process if the task is unclear. Allowing the employee to understand their employer is there to help will eliminate the excuse for becoming lazy.
Set a Positive and Upbeat Tone for Your Employees
A survey shows 61% of employees claim to be burnt out at work. So how do you prevent your employees from falling into this statistic? A recommended solution falls on the employer and management. Set a positive tone by displaying an enthusiastic attitude towards employees and their contributions to everyday workloads. We all have days where it may be hard to achieve this, but as a leader of a company, it’s your responsibility to put your team in a position to be successful and productive.
Attitudes tend to rub off on people and creating a positive atmosphere will allow those attitudes to be positive instead of negative. Employees are more likely to be engaged and enthusiastic about their work which will result in a decreased opportunity for employee laziness.
Learn more about how you can avoid employee burnout.
Politely Dealing With a Lazy Employee at Work Conclusion
The statistics are out there that lazy employees do exist, but how you deal with them will matter the most. You want the best for your employees and company to grow and be successful. Avoiding negative assumptions, implementing a time tracking solution, and being a positive leader are just a few examples of enhancing communication with a lazy employee.
Keep in mind there is only so much you can do to motivate employees. Sometimes it’s just reality that you hired a lazy egg, and there’s nothing you can do to change their ways. However, it’s not recommended to make rash decisions that may cause more bad than good. Be sure to exhaust all your options before giving up and moving on.
Eliminate Employee Laziness Immediately
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