9 Tips for How to Motivate Lazy Employees

Resources > 9 Tips for How to Motivate Lazy Employees

9 Tips for How to Motivate Lazy Employees

Posted on May 03, 2019 by Danny Leffel

Have you noticed one of your employees slacking off? Do they seem uninterested in completing their work? Before you think about taking disciplinary actions, consider that they may just be unmotivated. We’ve all felt dissatisfied by a job before, and if one of your employees feels it, chances are good that others do, as well. It’s worth your time to try to reignite that spark they originally had for the job. Below are nine tips for how to motivate lazy employees.

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1. Communicate Openly

How often do you talk to your employees? Do they feel comfortable reaching out to you if there’s an issue? If not, you may want to strengthen your communication with your team. Some employees who appear lazy may just need to feel connected to the company, and you’re how that connection forms. Make sure that your entire team gets timely announcements, and be as transparent with them as you can. To ensure your employees receive important announcements, you can use the Crew App to deliver messages directly to your employees’ smartphones.

2. Set Objectives

Objectives help workers stay on task. If you want your servers to be able to manage a certain number of tables at once, you need to let them know. The same goes for all other objectives. Your employees aren’t mind readers, so you need to let them know what’s expected of them. If you find that one of your employees seems lazier than the others, make a point of talking to them about your objectives. It’s possible they were never aware of them. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and let them know what they should be doing.

3. Show Appreciation

Does your company culture encourage showing appreciation? Employees who feel valued by their companies work harder and are less likely to hunt for a new job. Taking the time to say “thank you” to your team will boost morale and let them know that you recognize their hard work. A small gesture that costs you nothing can have a huge effect on unmotivated employees, so make the extra effort to show appreciation.

4. Provide Advancement Opportunities

Lazy employees may not see a reason to work any harder than necessary. If your company doesn’t provide advancement opportunities, you can’t really blame them. Working only to get a paycheck can be demoralizing, but if employees feel like they’re advancing their careers, they’ll be more engaged.

Managing employees isn’t solely about making sure they do their current jobs. It’s also about cultivating their strengths and making sure the company does whatever it can to keep talented employees. Career opportunities go a long way in attracting and retaining good employees.

5. Offer Incentives

Many people are motivated by rewards. In addition to their normal salary and benefits, offer your employees extra incentives to do a good job. The most important thing to remember when offering incentives is to make sure that everyone is eligible to receive them. For example, if you run a restaurant, don’t only give bartenders the opportunity to earn rewards. Come up with areas in which all team members can reap the benefits of a job well done. A bonus side effect of offering incentives is that employee performance will increase overall.

6. Give More Responsibilities

It’s possible that your employee isn’t lazy, just bored. Try giving them extra responsibilities to see if they shape up. Oftentimes, employees will get into ruts where they’re so comfortable doing the same thing over and over that they don’t even realize the quality of their work has slipped. By changing up their day, you’ll be able to evaluate their work ethic. If they start to pick up the pace and do well, you’ll know that they like challenges and should be given a variety of things to do. Keep them interested by having them cross-train with other positions.

7. Be Present

Make your presence known. Even the laziest of employees won’t want to goof off right in front of the boss. If they get used to seeing you on a regular basis, they’ll be less likely to waste time.

Be sure to vary the times you show up. If you get on a schedule, your employees will learn it pretty quickly, so drop in at random times. If they never know when you’ll appear, they’ll be afraid to let their laziness take over. Once they start doing their jobs every day, you can limit the number of times you check up on them; just make sure you still do it occasionally.

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8. Allow Feedback

Sometimes discontent can manifest as laziness. If you think your employees could be disgruntled about something, ask for their feedback. Let them know that you’re setting up a box where they can anonymously submit complaints or concerns, and then address those issues at your next team meeting. You might be surprised by the things bothering your employees, so it’s always a good idea to ask what’s on their minds. If you can correct a lot of the problems, morale should rise, which will motivate employees.

9. Identify Employee Strengths

A lazy employee may not be the right fit for a specific job. Perhaps they’re uninterested in their current job or lack the necessary skills to accomplish it. Spend some time observing them and then ask them for a meeting. You may notice that they have talent that would be better suited for a different role. If so, don’t be afraid to move them. A team where everyone is playing to their strengths will only benefit your company. Sometimes it just takes some time to find the perfect place for everyone.

Keep in mind that all employees are different and that you may need to try a few strategies to motivate them until one works. Making an effort to retain employees will only benefit your business in the long run, so always take the time to invest in your team. When your employees are happy, your company will thrive.

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