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How to Deal With Lazy People At Work

How to Deal with Lazy People at Work

How to Deal With Lazy People at Work

These are the key points to follow when dealing with lazy people at work:

  1. Don't neglect the issue: Make the fact that they are not doing what is expected, a definite issue.
  2. Give them specific, delegated tasks by means of SMART targets.
  3. Praise them every time they make any move to do any task. This is called positive reinforcement.
  4. Tell them the painful consequences that will befall them if the task is not done. This is called negative reinforcement.
  5. Be persistent. Don't let their desire to be lazy, trump your desire to get them working.
  6. Work on them for a long period of time. Behavioural change is an evolutionary process.

Do you have any work-shy people at work?

Work-shy people are those who know what they should do, but they don't do it. They have the materials, they have the resources, but they still don't do it.

Why? Because they are lazy.

Lazy people are falling victim to the natural tendency to save energy. They do that by doing the least possible.

If you have to work with a lazy person it is frustrating, because the work they don't do, you have to do. Or it does not get done.

How to deal with a lazy person.

1. Don't neglect the issue

Make the fact that they are not doing what is expected a definite issue. There are some people who drift into laziness, over time, and they don't even realise that they are being lazy.

2. Give them specific delegated tasks by means of SMART targets.

The first thing to do is to ask the lazy person to do more things. Lazy people lack personal initiative and self-motivation, so you have to supply those factors. You need to give them specific tasks to do with a deadline. SMART means.

  • The task must be specific.
  • The task must be measured.
  • The task must be achievable.
  • The task must be realistic.
  • The task must have a clear time deadline.

3. Praise them every time they make any move to do any task.

This is called positive reinforcement. The moment the person makes a step, tag it with a bit of positive praise and reinforcement. That will motivate lazy people to do more.

4. Tell them the painful consequences that will befall us if the task is not done.

This is called negative reinforcement. The moment the person fails to make a step, tag it with a bit of a warning about the painful consequences that will happen, if the task is not achieved. That may motivate the person to act.

5. Be persistent.

Don't let their desire to be lazy, trump your desire to get them working.

Lazy people are lazy by habit. It takes time to change a habit. It is difficult to change a habit. So, you have to be prepared for a fairly long struggle to change this person's habits.

6. Work on them over a long period of time.

Behavioural change is evolutionary. You cannot change people in one day, nor by shouting at them once. Instead you will need to work on them, over a longer period of time.

Not by shouting; but by praise, reprimand and specific goals by means of smart targets.

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Conflict Management Training

Conflict is inevitable, because people disagree. Therefore, you must be able to handle conflict situations effectively. You must know how to be assertive, clear and professional (not emotional, upset and angry) whilst in conflict. If you want to learn more on how to achieve this, please click here to see our conflict management training.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

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