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Turn “Lazy” Employees Into Productive Employees

Your business can’t be successful unless its employees are productive. You spend a lot of time and effort to make sure you are hiring productive employees. But what do you do when one of your team members starts to show signs of laziness? Well, good leadership has a lot to do with understanding human psychology. So, what do experts in psychology say about laziness?

“My experience, both as an individual and therapist, has led me to conclude that laziness as an explanation of human behavior is practically useless.” – Dr. Leon Seltzer, clinical psychologist

“Many lazy people are not intrinsically lazy, but are lazy because they have not found what they want to do.” – Dr. Neel Burton, psychiatrist

“’Laziness’ is an overused criticism—a character judgment, really––that does nothing to help us understand why someone doesn’t exert the effort to do what they want to do, or are expected to do.” – Laura D. Miller, LCSW

What’s the takeaway for you as a manager? Calling an employee lazy – even if it’s just in your own thoughts – is not helpful. Instead, you need to dig into the reasons why the employee is not getting things done. Think of laziness as a symptom, and you need to solve the underlying problem.

Help Your Employees Find Their Motivation

The most likely cause for laziness at work is a simple lack of motivation. Most jobs today are very specialized, and often very far removed from the final product. If your company’s overall product or service is a jigsaw puzzle, each employee’s job may be one puzzle piece. If all they see is that one piece, it’s hard to appreciate the complete picture.

Help your employees see the big picture, and how their efforts affect the company and its customers. Show your appreciation for the importance of their position. If they aren’t fulfilling the duties of that position, talk with them kindly but honestly about how that affects you, their teammates and the company as a whole.

Make sure you express confidence in your employees. Some people’s laziness is a mask for their fear of failure. If they don’t believe they can succeed, then why bother trying? Help them set goals that are specific and achievable. Each time they reach a goal, their confidence will grow and they will be more motivated to continue trying hard.

Lastly, help your employees develop camaraderie. Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace report encourages “a deep sense of affiliation” among team members. When this exists, employees are more likely to take positive actions that benefit the business. They don’t want to let their friends and team mates down!

It takes effort to understand a lazy employee and turn them into a productive one. But ignoring the problem is simply not an option. In the worst case scenario, if none of your efforts succeed, it may be necessary to replace the unproductive employee. Contact Aventure Staffing today if you find yourself in need of a new, highly productive team member.

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