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Your business will never thrive unless you are successful in roping in the most productive employees at work. And there’s no shortcut to it, no in-betweens.

You would either have focused and productive people at your workplace, or you would end up having a bunch of slackers who would always pass on the blame for their shortcomings.

Shockingly, 70% of the U.S. workers are not engaged.

Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 to $550 Billion dollars annually.

Now that you are facing similar concerns at work and finding it difficult to manage your team of demotivated and lazy employees, try out the strategies I discuss in this blog.

Keep faith. The tables are about to turn soon!         

1. Figure Out the Root of the Problem

Modern problems have modern solutions; provided you are aware of the root cause of the issue. Ask yourself, “Why is the employee lazy?” You never know, probably the person lacks the necessary skill set or he/she might not understand what exactly is expected of him/her.

Actionable Points:

  • Arrange brainstorming sessions for your employees.
  • Conduct one-on-one sessions and ask each of them to raise concerns by pointing out the challenging areas associated with their job.
  • Talk to your employees more often and make them understand their job roles.
  • Make sure you are training your employees via technically advanced modes of communication and helping them get the hang of the task.

2. Come up with a Realistic Plan for Progress

No matter what, the show must go on. This makes it crucial for you to iron out the details of the actionable steps towards progress. You may consider delving deep into the concern by creating measurable short-term targets.

Actionable Points:

  • Jot down the challenges in a paper and discuss the same with your immediate senior.
  • Include your employees in the activity and get their inputs to make them feel motivated to achieve the target.
  • Strategize the techniques you will be using in order to track and measure the progress of the employees.
  • Conduct weekly self-evaluation sessions and allow your employees to talk lucidly about their previous shortcomings and how they managed to overcome the same.  

3. Refrain from Taking Underperformance Lightly

It is certainly not a good sign if an employee continues to underperform for several months. After all, it’s a business, and no organization can afford to survive for long with under-performing employees.

Actionable Points:

  • Explain to the employee that there are severe consequences for constant under-performance.
  • Make sure that the employee is aware of the company policy and the actionable measures that will be taken for not performing well.
  • Regulate a 3-point policy, where the employee gets an initial verbal warning followed by a written ultimatum and finally gets fired due to continued under-performance.

4. Don’t Just Talk the Talk, Set Examples as Well

Team Working Together

Source – Pixabay.com

There’s no point talking about a particular concern for long unless you are setting enough examples for your employees to get inspired. So, how about getting your hands dirty by working hard and making an effort to achieve targets on your own?

As a result, your employees will get to experience the best form of example, which is watching their leader do the talking.

Actionable Points:

  • Try walking into your employees’ shoes and work with them.
  • If you observe an employee struggling with business help, take charge of the situation and help them understand the nitty-gritty of the job.
  • Figure out if your employee is really bored with the task or he/she has got zero passion for what exactly they are doing.
  • Give them a chance to work on something they like. This can actually be profitable for the organization.

5. Come up with Transparent and Behavioral Feedback at Regular Intervals

It would hardly matter if you end up complaining about your employees every time without providing them with clear feedback on the shortcomings and the things they are expected to do for improvement. Even though giving tough feedback to the employees is one of the toughest jobs for a leader, you need to go hard for the greater good.

Actionable Points:

  • Work on the entire purpose behind creating the feedback form.
  • Commit to delivering your feedback in a way that ensures the fact that it will be well-received and acted upon.
  • Identify areas in which the employees can get better, new approaches they may try, and ways they can stretch.
  • Devote your time and attention in evaluating the employees.
  • Include specific aspects and suggestions regarding improvements that can foster productivity.

6. Ask Questions and Take Note of the Answers


Source – Pixabay.com

This is yet another crucial point to be noted when it comes to finding ways to motivate lazy employees at work. It is mostly about being constructive in your approach. Hence, asking a few important questions, and figuring out the answers directly from the horse’s mouth is imperative.

Actionable Points:

  • Take note of the following questions you must ask your employees.
  • Do employees lack time, tools, and authority to access the functional areas at the workplace?
  • Are employees taking pride in their performance as individuals or as members of a team?
  • Are their conflicting demands on the ability of the employees in managing time?
  • Is the current office culture getting in their way of success?

7. Offer Tangible Rewards in the Form of Incentives

Even though the notion is highly argumentative in nature, there’s still no denying the fact that monetary incentive is one enticing motivator when it comes to encouraging lazy employees at work.

So, how about a pat on their back with clear-cut incentive schemes?

Actionable Points:

  • Include your staff and managers in drafting the perfect incentive plan.
  • Set the perfect budget in order to create an incentive plan that has an open-ended reward potential for your employees.
  • Take into account the situations of your employees in terms of expectations, long-term goals, and the highest total sales per year.
  • Include schemes like extra paid time off, gift cards, an employee of the month, most punctual employee, and the likes.

8. Embracing Telecommuting with Open Arms

Posted in the NYTimes, a study suggests that people working from home are comparatively more productive than regular office employees.

No, I am not asking you to make “work from home” a norm.

You can at least utilize the idea and consider being flexible in allowing your employees to work from home on certain occasions.

Actionable Points:

  • Make sure your employees aren’t devoid of internet connectivity, telephone networks, and a perfect working environment at home.
  • Keep following up and figure out whether your employees are actually working at home.
  • Ask them to prepare work reports and produce them the very next at the office.

9. Consider Reducing the Pressure of Excess Workload         

While it is understandable that even the smallest chunk of work at the office is equally important for your employees to pay heed to, cutting out the excess workload at times can allow your staff to focus on the bigger goal.

Actionable Points:

  • Take a look at the team routine and figure out if there’s anything you can cut out, for example, you may offer a bit of flexibility in working on projects that have longer deadlines.
  • Refrain from calling your employees to visit your cabin every now and then. Communicate via live chat portals instead.
  • Set short-term goals for your employees on a regular basis and evaluate their performance accordingly.

10. Take Your Employees Out for Lunch and Arrange Day Trips 

All work and no play will not only make Jack a dull boy, but it will also have a negative impact on all the Tom, Dick, and Harrys of the world.

 Putting it in a simpler way, your employees need recreation as well.

Actionable Points:

  • Consider organizing team lunch or dinner every alternate month.
  • Look for the latest offers on movie tickets, shopping discounts, and the likes. Share the news with your team members.
  • Organize day trips by asking your employees to participate in an interactive session where they can suggest ideal destinations to visit.


To quote the renowned author Mark Yarnell, “A leader is someone who demonstrates what’s possible.” Motivating lazy employees at work can prove to be a challenge if the team leader isn’t aware of the tricks of the trade. From working on tangible reward schemes to accumulating helpful feedback from the employees regarding potential shortcomings, there are several aspects to be met.

Even though dealing with non-performing employees is one of the most intricate tasks for a team leader, he/she should consider taking up the challenge by handling things creatively.

This informative blog allows you to explore all avenues and come up with a solution worth embracing from all dimensions. Now that you are aware of the key functional areas, pull up your socks, invoke the dormant spirit of a smart leader in you, and conquer anything and everything that comes your way.

Written By
ark Hales is an enthusiastic travel blogger and corporate consultant working on behalf of a leading agency in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Apart from that, Mark is associated with the digital brand MyAssignmenthelp.com, working as an academic assignment writer for the last six years. During his days of leisure and vacation, you may find this workaholic guy in a completely different mood, camping with friends, painting and playing the guitar.

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