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Do You Have Lazy Employees Or Is Something Missing?

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

As a leader, it is perfectly natural for you to want your employees to perform at their best in order to receive the top results in every project throughout the company. A downside of this is that when something does go wrong or you see a lack of effort in places, it is far too easy to place blame on your employees, labelling them as “lazy” or perhaps even harsher terms. This mindset is not only completely wrong but will set you back further than an unmotivated employee as leadership plays one of the largest roles in the workplace culture which influences work ethic. When switching to the modern mindset you will want to switch from jumping to calling your employees lazy and instead think about the situation rationally. Ask yourself, were they like this since the beginning? What specific areas are they lacking in? And is there more I could have done? Whilst it is possible to simply have an employee who isn’t giving any effort and is letting their team down, it is also possible for there to be a deeper routed issue or even an issue that has been right under your nose the entire time. Before completely giving up on someone, you as a leader must ensure you’ve given enough thought and chance into the matter as people choose to be in their job, underperformance shouldn’t be expected every now and then as the norm of getting a bad employee. A recent and now more common issue that could be causing underperformance is a lack of direction on their projects. Especially with the increase in at-home workers, there is far more freedom, although this has many perks it also has its downfalls if not managed correctly. Your staff still need plenty of guidance from their leader(s) in order to stay focused and know about what tasks they are to be doing. Not everyone is skilled in being able to manage their own workload and schedule, so even weekly checkups will be extremely helpful in keeping everyone on task. Most organisations now are able to provide training or will be able to provide some if needed. Even though a worker may have originally been qualified, workplaces and all industries are constantly changing and developing. Being unsure of even a few of the smallest things can make it difficult for a staff member to complete certain tasks. If you are giving out new tasks or the work has developed since the beginning, be sure to offer up training where available to encourage your workers to continue their own self-growth and not fall behind solely because of industry changes. Some leaders and managers underestimate the power of feedback, this plays into the suggestion of weekly check-ins with your workers. Make the effort to pay attention to the work they are doing and have done. Congratulate them on reaching goals or hitting new milestones. If you don’t tell them that the work they are doing is valued and has an impact, how are they supposed to know? By regularly reinforcing a positive mindset you will be improving employee engagement and their motivation towards work. Some leaders even manage to have a reward system set in place when reaching goals and achieving new milestones, if this is something that could be available in your own workplace it is definitely recommended as a great incentive to work well. Have you accidentally let your employee slip into a meaningless job? Everyone has their role in an organisation, but some repetitive or monotonous tasks over time may become unnecessary. It can be frustrating to continue doing something that seems to have no value or use. Perhaps you’ve heard employees exclaim “I don’t even understand why I have to do this” in these cases, re-evaluate what your company needs, there is a chance your employee has simply lost focus and if you can re-implement what work needs to be done and why you could help settle their mindset. Although it very well may be that it’s time for a change in your establishment and you as a leader need to be open and welcoming to that idea. Without reason, disengagement will occur amongst employees which could lead to the choice of being lazier about certain areas of work. There are a multitude of different ways an employee could be showing the trait of laziness and whichever one that may be will impact how you should go about correcting the behaviour. For instance, a more difficult type to deal with is often described as “the vanisher” that one member of staff who takes slightly too extended breaks or calls in sick far too often. Some managers may think, there is nothing you can do about these people, and only give warnings before making the final decision to let them go. But these people are not a lost cause, there is a reason behind everything we do and there could be an obvious need for help when someone is taking time away or are choosing to slack off on something so important. Burnout or declines in mental health are big factors that can cause this type of laziness, or even bad co-worker relationships that cause an avoidant tendency. Communicate efficiently and work out what the problem is to come to the correct and appropriate solution.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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