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As much as every manager would like to think that every one of their employees is a hard worker – the simple truth is that there will come a time when they have to deal with a lazy one. Even one employee failing to pull their weight can have a significant impact on productivity – and morale.

The problem with having a lazy employee, outside of the obvious, is that it creates a domino effect. Other employees notice the original one getting away with something, and it reduces their motivation. After all, in their minds, why should they work harder? Thus, it is essential to deal with a lazy employee as soon as possible.

Provide Training

Sometimes an employee is only perceived as lazy when in truth, they don’t fully understand how to carry out their duties. One of the best first steps in this instance is to provide the appropriate training.

Discover the Root of the Problem

If it turns out that training isn’t the issue, it is still worthwhile to find out the root cause of the problem itself. Is the employee lazy, or are they simply slower and unproductive? Knowing the cause will help create the solution.

Set Goals

Alternatively, a manager can clean up any confusion by setting clear goals for the employee. Not only does this remind the employee of what is expected of them, but it can help reinvigorate and missing self-motivation.

When setting goals, it is essential to communicate these clearly to the employee. They should have a say in these goals – even if it is just confirming that they understand what is expected of them.

Be Visible

Sometimes all it takes is increased visibility from management. Some employees will always work better when they know a manager is around. Alternatively, sometimes increased interaction is all it takes to help reinvigorate the workforce.


Occasionally, an employee will begin to disengage from their work when there is a lack of incentives. Is there a limitation on upward mobility within the company? How about pay? Providing opportunities for promotions and raises is always an excellent method to help keep employees motivated in their jobs.