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Tips For Motivating “Lazy” Workers Comments Off on Tips For Motivating “Lazy” Workers

motivate_lazy2The one element that drives your company’s success is dedicated and engaged employees. On the other hand, the one thing that drives your company into the ground is lazy workers. A lazy worker means an unproductive worker, and an unproductive worker means a loss in revenue. There are several things that can cause a worker to get lazy, and by understanding the root causes of laziness, you can be better equipped to weed out the laziness without having to throw out the employee.

Are you challenging your workers?

The most common cause of laziness in workers is not that they don’t want to work, but that they find their work mundane or not challenging. If a worker seems to be just dragging himself through his daily job, you need to see if maybe he needs to be motivated by increasing his responsibilities. A good way to approach this is by meeting with the worker and asking them directly if they feel you are not giving them enough responsibility. If the employee seems to be taken aback by the possibility of having more responsibility, then it’s probably not a lack of challenge that’s making your worker lazy and you can look at other possible causes. If, on the other hand, your employee really does feel unchallenged, by addressing it directly you invite the employee to be direct in turn with you, and often you will find the answer to be yes, they would like more responsibility. If that’s the case, by increasing their responsibilities you increase their job satisfaction and eliminate laziness.

Does your worker have a clear idea of what’s expected of him or her?
Sometimes, what appears as laziness is actually a case of lack of direction. This is related to poor management and not really the fault of the worker. If the worker does not have a clear idea of what his or her job duties are, he or she may simply being waiting for someone to tell them what they should be doing. Sometimes, especially in a company where there are several jobs going on at once, certain employees will be given a task and then forgotten about. The worker may complete the task in an hour or two, but then not know what to do, so they simply wait to be given a new task. An employee that seems to be slacking off may actually have been so productive they accomplished their task much earlier than expected and now is waiting for further instruction. Not only does management often overlook that these “lazy” employees are the ones who are actually being more productive, but they fail to use their productivity by failing to follow through with projects and tasks.

One of the best ways to combat this problem is by first of all making it clear what is expected of the worker, especially when completing individual tasks. For instance, if the worker is given the task of labelling 200 boxes, let the worker know what to do after the boxes are labelled, which may be to load the boxes. If you give clear and concise instructions to your workers and don’t leave them standing around waiting for instructions, you may find your problem wasn’t a lazy employee to begin with. Another good way of combating the lack of direction syndrome is by making it clear to all workers when they have completed their jobs or tasks, they need to report to their immediate supervisor. In this way, the management team can stay on top of who is doing what in order to keep the workers productive.

What is their incentive?

Often laziness can be directly contributed to a lack of incentive or reward for productivity. Of course, a worker’s overall incentive should be getting paid to do their job, but unfortunately this is often not enough to motivate the employee toward increased productivity. You may have a good incentive program in place, but do all of your workers understand it or even know about it? Offering an incentive to workers who go above and beyond what’s expected of them will often increase a worker’s productivity as well as boost their morale. It lets them know that you are aware of the work they do and you will reward them for work well done.
It often seems to workers that nobody really cares how hard they work or how good of a job they do. They have no incentive to work harder or do better if they don’t believe anyone is even noticing, but with an incentive program in place, the workers know you are watching them, you realize the job they are doing. Sometimes an incentive might be simple as praising your employee for their hard work and dedication through a plaque or certificate. It needn’t always be a monetary amount, it could also be a few days off to spend with their families, or a gift certificate to their favorite local restaurant.

Whatever the cause might be, the point is to not immediately fault the employee as simply being a lazy employee. Talk to the employee, find out if their job is fulfilling and how you can make it more fulfilling to them, possibly by increasing their responsibility or perhaps by clarifying their job duties and expectations. Always have an incentive program in place that rewards hard work and dedication, letting your workers know you are watching them and you are appreciative of their hard work. By following these tips and simply making yourself more aware of what might be driving that worker to slacking off, you just may turn a lazy worker into a super productive part of your company.