How to effectively deal with a lazy employee

February 4, 2015

If you are a manager in your company, or if you run a company, you may be aware that you have to be prepared to deal with all kinds of people. You will have constant communication with employees, clients and customers with varying temperaments, personalities and working styles. You will have to figure out a way to deal with each of these effectively and get your work done. 

One of the most irritating kinds of employees that you may have to deal with at some point are the lazy ones. They are the ones who may abstain from working and may pull the whole team down. You have to find a way around the effect such employees have on the team as well and get them to work more effectively.

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How lazy employees affect work

Laziness at work affects not only the one who is lazy, but also all those around him/her, coworkers and teammates alike. It causes a number of issues for you as the manager/employer and the rest of the team. So how do you spot lazy employees? Here are the signs:

They do not meet deadlines or finish tasks assigned to them

If teammates need to rely on their work to finish to go ahead on a project, the whole project gets delayed

Your team fails to meet deadlines on a regular basis despite working hard

They demotivate others in the team and bring down the overall productivity of the team

You, as a manager/employer, might face problems with your bosses or clients due to delay in projects

So, it is important to constantly monitor your team and make sure that you do not have any lazy employees in your team. If you have employees who are lazy, you will need to deal with them without any delay to avoid further problems. How can you deal with such employees? Read on to understand.

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How to deal with a lazy team member as a manager/employer

If you are a manager and have a small team, it becomes easy to look over each of the team members’ tasks individually. Sometimes, you may notice that a certain project has suddenly slowed down and your team is struggling to meet deadlines. If you look closely and discover that it is due to a team member who is being lazy, you will need to deal with the issue immediately, but how can you deal with this problem? 

 

If you notice your team member being lazy:

There are a few steps you could take to ensure that none of your team members are lazy at work and are finishing all their tasks well in time.

Discuss the problem with the whole team and motivate your teammates to work smarter to meet deadlines. Then individually meet each team member to figure out the problem. You might find that:

They do not have the requisite skills to perform the tasks assigned to them, because of which they may be getting delayed in finishing their tasks or might be losing interest in their work

They are assigned profiles or tasks that are outside the specifications of their job profile, creating a mismatch and preventing them from working effectively

They may be getting bored due to being assigned the same tasks each day as it is no longer challenging in any way

They may be dealing with personal problems like a major health issue, a divorce, kids being unwell, marital discord or such, that may be keeping them distracted at work

Be more proactive with your team. Be available to your team personally instead of sending out occasional emails and talking to them over the phone. Apart from that, you need to:

Hold regular team meetings to discuss new projects

Get updates on work progress and difficulties being faced by the team, if any

Keep yourself available and open to dialogue with your team

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Finding the solutions

Once you have figured out what the problem is during your individual discussions and meetings with the team, you can then go about rectifying it. If the profiles or tasks are mismatched, reorganize the team and assign the right tasks as well as profiles to the right people. Make sure they have at least one new task every day that will keep them interested and actively involved with their work. See to it that everyone is clear about the tasks they are expected to finish and the deadlines for each task.

In case they are dealing with personal issues, try to counsel them and let them know that they can talk to you if they want to at any point. Also, you could ask them to take a break for a few days from work and figure things out on the personal front if that seems like a viable solution.

However, if you have to monitor a large team, it may not be possible for you to look into each team member separately. In such a case, divide your team into smaller groups so that you can focus on each group. Also, keep the lines of communication open between you and your team. Make sure your team members know that they can approach you in case of any problems with assigned tasks that they are not able to deal with on their own.

In either case, be ready to get your hands dirty and take up the issue actively and deal with it immediately to avoid problems for you and your team going ahead. If the issue has gotten out of hand despite you trying your best to fix it, approach your seniors at work and ask them to help you out.

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Top five qualities of a good employee

There are a few qualities that are highly desirable in employees as well as managers. Apart from not being lazy, there are some qualities that employers look for when they are hiring. They are:

Dependable

Team player

Resourceful

Positive and pleasant

Committed to work

Work on improving these qualities in yourself, as well as your team members, and see your productivity and quality of work improve as a result. It will help you make a good name for yourself and your team in the company. 

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