5 tips on how to deal with the lazy employee

The lazy employee is easy to identify, you’ll find them lingering in the break room, openly browsing the net and you regularly catch them having a chat. They prefer a managing style where they are left alone, and they always have an excuse as to why work isn’t done on time.

Lazy staff not only affect you, they affect your team and the office environment and addressing the situation quickly is the jump start to resolve the issue.

1. Clearly define objectives for the employee to meet

Follow this up by setting up a regular time for feedback and to insure work is being completed. By setting clear objectives and deadlines, the employee has no excuse as to not knowing when work is due and has plenty of time to talk to you if they don’t understand.


2. Address problems immediately

Don’t leave unfinished projects and missed deadlines. Discuss this with the employee straight away so they know this isn’t acceptable and you can discuss the reasons behind it. Was it enough time to compete the task? Did they fully understand it? Insist that the employee completes the set work and don’t reward the laziness by giving the task to someone else.


3. Be a regular presence in the work area.

This is good for you and the employee. You can make sure things are being done and the employees are being productive but it also gives them a chance to ask questions and come to you for help if they need it.


4. Don’t accept bad work or excuses.

The lazy employee will have a stack of excuses to give you. Don’t accept them. There is only so many times it can be true that your cat died or the car broke down.


5. Praise

Employees are regularly told when they are doing something wrong. Ensure you are praising the employees when they are doing something right. Praise productivity, progress, punctuality and be positive. Make the clear connection between progress and rewards.


Once a lazy employee has been caught and is being provided tasks and set deadlines, they are much more likely to start pulling their weight in the team. You’ll find them at their desk more and in the kitchen less.

Want help with managing lazy and difficult employees? HR in Flow can help.

Get in touch on +44 (0) 1280 823702 or via the contact page

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