Lazy employee – how to motivate him/her to work?

Lazy employee – how to motivate him/her to work?
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Every entrepreneur will eventually have to deal with hiring employees. Ideally, these people should be responsible and committed. Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. A candidate who seemed perfect at the interview may, over time, lose motivation to work.

It is worth knowing that people by nature do not like to strain themselves. The brain will always choose the easier way to get through another day. Unless the more difficult path is more interesting. And here we come to the most important point: a lazy employee is in most cases a bored, tired or stressed employee.

Punishment or reward?

There are two main ways to motivate: positive motivation, which is rewarding for completed tasks, and negative motivation, which is a system of punishment for failures. Both systems will be effective, but they cannot be used interchangeably. Long-lasting use of the method of admonishing and putting pressure on a subordinate will eventually lead him to work in permanent stress, which will not be beneficial for either of the parties. The best method is to combine both methods: we motivate the employee positively on a daily basis, and in case of serious negligence on his part – we admonish him.

It is very important to set boundaries. The worst strategy is not to talk, to get offended, to accuse a lazy employee among other employees or to understate things. Honest conversation is the key to solving the problem. The principle of effective motivation is to tailor the process to the person’s expectations.

What motivates?

According to surveys, the most frequently mentioned work motivator is money. The earnings should be adequate to the work put in by a given employee. Also important are respect, prestige, adaptation of the relevant tasks to the job. It is also worth paying attention to the friendly atmosphere in the team. The employee should be able to express his opinion, make mistakes and ask questions. A person who is afraid to make a mistake will often not be able to undertake a given task at all! Another important motivator will be rich social packages – sports and medical care and the opportunity for personal and professional development in training and courses.

How to motivate a lazy employee?

As soon as you notice a problem, you should invite the employee for a face-to-face conversation. The conversation should be frank, without understatements, emotions and accusations. Emphasize that you are on the same page with the employee and want to help him. It should be clearly indicated what exactly we are not satisfied with. It is best to argue with concrete examples. The employee may not even realize that something is going wrong. Then set clear boundaries and find the source of the problem. Maybe his slower work is due to personal problems, stress and he needs a vacation, or maybe the tasks assigned to him are too difficult for him and he needs more time to complete them. The most important thing is to discuss the problem in depth and find its source. After such a conversation we should choose the most effective method of motivation. The conversation itself will already be a big motivator for the employee – he will feel important for the company where he works.

Main photo: Nicola Barts/

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