20 Fail Proof Ways to Expose a Lazy Employee is an interesting blog post that contains some useful ideas and resources – but to my mind exemplifies much that is wrong with management today. The assumption is that the employees is ‘bad’ and has to be exposed, ‘put right’ or fired.
In the majority of such cases, in my experience, managers get the employees that they deserve. The behaviour of the employee is a direct reflection of the way that they are being managed. I would advise the manager to reflect on their own role in creating this problem employee.
‘Lazy’ is a label and labels rarely help. Managers must learn to notice the behaviours that they see that lead them to think that someone is lazy.
They should then give feedback about the behaviours (arriving late, leaving early, personal e-mails, staring out the window for hours) and the impact that the behaviours have. ie ‘When you arrive late, leave early, stare out the window and spend hours on your personal e-mails I get frustrated because I can’t help thinking that you could get more done. I worry that you might get a reputation for laziness and that you won’t do as well as you could in your work here. Is there anything you can differently to avoid these concerns?
Managers who know that they have a ‘disengaged’ employee must think about their own role in the employees lack of engagement. After all they are paid as a manager to ensure that people are productive! It is their problem – not the employees!
- Have they got the employee in a role where they can use their strengths?
- Have they clearly expressed the performance standards associated with the position in a way that the employee understands?
- Have they given feedback about the behaviours that cause concern?
- Have they offered to coach the employee in order to improve their performance?
- Does the employee get appreciation and recognition when they do things well?
- Only once all of these options have been explored should they consider the option of firing them.