The 5 Types of Lazy Employees and How to Deal with Them

Management would be a much simpler task if we could just take the human element out of it. Unfortunately, people are people, and some employees are just plain lazy. Laziness can take many forms, and they’re all counter-productive. Here are some of the most common, and some tips to fight them off.

The Disappearing Employee

The amazing disappearing employee has the incredible skill of not being around when you need them. Whether it’s longer breaks or convenient absences on critical days, the disappearing employee can cause real damage without being present.

To combat vanishers at your office, set and consistently enforce expectations of arrival times. Do this with all your employees, but be sure to be around to greet the disappearing one, and thank them for arriving on time, or discipline them for being late.

The Perpetual Victim

It’s always someone else’s fault and the perpetual victim always has an excuse. Sure, life happens, but if you have an employee who is always late because of car trouble, a sick pet, or a relative visiting from out of town, they may be taking advantage of you.

Document every instance of their excuses. If the pattern rises beyond 2 or 3 absences, ask them to review attendance with you, and point it all out at once to show them you’re aware.

The Serial Procrastinator

The serial procrastinator puts undue stress on themselves or can even stress out the entire staff by forcing them to pick up the slack.

If you have a serial procrastinator, set measurable goals throughout a project, and check in frequently.

The Professional Delegator

The professional delegator turns avoiding work into an art form. They will constantly convince their peers to do their work for them, and many will because it’s easier than saying no. That’s a recipe for bad morale.

Give the professional delegator specific tasks and make it clear that you’re counting on them to accomplish them. If they push it off, discipline them quickly and reinforce your point.

The Poisoner at the Well

The dreaded employee who “poisons the well” with gossip or just general troublemaking is a ticking time bomb. Your only real hope is that this person is lashing out because they don’t feel engaged. Give them an opportunity to vent, and determine if they have legitimate complaints. If they do, address them and let them know when you have. If the behavior continues, begin the appropriate process to terminate them.


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