4 interesting reasons why your employees are so damn lazy

When you type the phrase “why are my employees…” into Google, one of the top questions is why are my employees so lazy. It’s a big cause for concern for many companies and it can leave managers wondering what they can do to combat it. We tell you the main reasons why your employees seem lazy and exactly how to tackle the issue.

Poor management 🤷‍♀️

We hate to break it to you but this is one of the most common causes for lazy employees. If you are not properly managing your employees and letting them know exactly what is acceptable and what pace of work you expect, then they will slip into the habit of trying to get away with the bare minimum because they know that there is no consequence. This is equally damaging for those employees that are productive because they will see that there are no repercussions for those that don’t put any effort in. They will begin to think, ‘why do I bother when I get treated exactly the same as the person that does half the amount of work that I do.’

Being a great manager doesn’t just mean praising your staff for when they are doing well, it also means taking the responsibility to manage them when they are underperforming and making sure you put a plan of action in place.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Don’t assume the employee is lazy unless you have solid evidence. Ask them if they are having any problems with their work and see if you can solve any of the issues first of all.
  • If you know for a fact they just aren’t pulling their weight, let them know that you are aware they haven’t been getting much done. The majority of the time your staff don’t think you know that they are being lazy. When you tell them you know, this immediately makes them change their behaviour.
  • Give them more deadlines and check in with them more often, this gives them more structure and lets them know that you have expectations of when you would like things done by.

They don’t feel valued 😔

Do you have one of those friends where you keep putting the effort in to call them, invite them out and then you never get anything back so you stop trying with them? It’s exactly the same in the workplace, if your employee continuously puts in effort and you always take it for granted and never reward or recognise them, then eventually they are going to lose motivation and stop putting in any effort at all.

Here’s how to make your employees feel valued:

  •  Offer them monetary rewards such as bonuses or vouchers for them to use with their family or friends. There are a few companies which offer employee vouchers including High Street Vouchers, Enjoy Vouchers and Benefex.
  • If you are a bit strapped for cash and can’t afford to hand out bonuses or vouchers then a simple virtual reward goes a long way. Oplift’s achievements have inbuilt stickers and trophies which management or peers can hand out when they think someone has done a good job. So if you want to say thank you to someone who worked through their lunch on that busy Saturday, you can quickly and easily show them your appreciation.
  • Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you. The way you speak to employees can really have an effect on the way they perform if you always show gratitude and remember to say please, thank you and well done this will really transform their behaviour. On the other hand, if you are constantly negative this will deteriorate their behaviour.

They need more supervision 🧐

Some people are just naturally lazier and they find it hard to stay focused. These people need more supervision and guidance to help them stay on track. We are not telling you to micro-manage them, just be more clear with what tasks they have to get done and by when. This will give them a bit more structure and guidance.

How to supervise without being an annoying micromanager:

  • Clearly tell them what you expect the outcomes to be, but don’t tell them every step of the way.
  • Give lots of feedback at spaced intervals, not all the time.
  • Guide them more guidance by explaining things and helping them understand concepts but do less for them.
  • Carry out more regular performance reviews, Oplift’s performance review tool makes it quick and easy to carry out assessments, create reports and set actions right on the shop floor.

Poor training 👎

Your staff could seem like they are reluctant to carry out tasks or get jobs done because they are lazy, but it could actually be because they are not confident enough in their ability to do them. If you haven’t got the right training programmes in place then employee confidence and performance will suffer as a result.

How to easily train your staff

  • Make it easy for them to access handbooks, manuals and guides so that they can teach themselves new skills whenever they need them.
  • Send out a survey and ask your staff what they would like to be trained on and put the relevant programmes in place for them.
  • Provide them with easy and accessible learning programmes that they can do during their busy daily routines. No one likes the formal tests that typical LMSs subject employees to. Instead of a 45-minute course that tests, we use microlearning to embed knowledge. Microlearning fits flexibly into staff’s daily routines with 1-5 minute learning playlists.

Combatting laziness can be a tricky and lengthy task, but if you persevere with the tips which we have given above, you should slowly but surely start to see a change in behaviour.


Other posts that may be of interest to you: 

8 horrifying things you should never say to your employees 😱

The real reasons your staff aren’t taking responsibility

7 things that make your employees super stressed

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 27th March 2019