Your Guide to Motivating Lazy Employees


Managing hardworking and dedicated employees is relatively easy, but the opposite end of the spectrum may be difficult and taxing. Let’s face it; everyone has to deal with lazy employees (well, at some point in their careers). Lazy employees don’t contribute, they distract other employees and can cause serious work consequences in the long-term.

According to a survey conducted in 2020, there will always be one slacker on every team. According to the study, 47% of employees believe that lazy coworkers are detrimental to the company. Even more concerning, it seems that only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.

This indicates that many businesses don’t know how or don’t care to encourage and engage their staff.

Distractions have a significant impact on the productivity and profitability of a business. Understanding the 4 Ds of time management and employing good time tracking and management, particularly with TimeTrack’s current capabilities, can help you overcome frequent distraction and time-wasting issues.




How to motivate lazy employees

Who is a lazy employee?

Laziness is merely a lack of desire to exert oneself or engage in an activity. This is true even if the person has the ability and capability to carry out the task. A lazy person is merely uninterested in necessary labor and may offer flimsy excuses.

Even if they should work, they are reluctant to devote the energy required to do their best.

Lazy co-workers might also make your job role more difficult because you may need to oversee your tasks as well as their own. Because of their slacker mentality, these employees may also produce low-quality work.

Understand how to spot lazy employees, but remember that the reasons for the employee’s behavior will differ based on the situation.

Types of lazy employees

If you manage lazy employees, failure to handle the situation effectively could negatively affect workplace morale and your working relationship with your employees.

  1. The Vanisher – the one who is never around

Nope, not a superhero! The Vanisher is a lazy employee who is never seen at their workplace. They constantly vanish without a trace. If they do not want to work, they may request sick leave.

  1. The Bare Minimum – the one who only works to a certain extent

Employees who perform only the assigned tasks are classified as the bare minimum. They never go above and beyond the tasks allotted to them. They satisfy expectations and never attempt to exceed them.

  1. The Procrastinator – the one who postpones or delays work

The procrastinator constantly pushes tasks forward, postpones meetings, and frequently attempts to move deadlines. A time management mind map is a creative approach to brainstorming ideas to curb procrastination. It enables you to organize your thoughts to help with analysis and improve memory.

  1. The Delegator – the one who hands their tasks to others

The delegator is not a manager, yet they act as if they are. They strive to avoid doing their jobs. They are willing to delegate their responsibilities to others in their team and even clients. This might have a severe detrimental influence on the reputations of businesses.

  1. The Victim – the one who makes excuses for their work

Employees in the victim category make every excuse in the book to justify their tardiness, missed deadlines and poor performance. They use them all the time to explain their poor work performance and may frequently lie to justify their acts.

One of the quickest ways to keep a lazy employee on track is by monitoring their time. TimeTrack Timesheet makes the process easy and transparent. Once a working model is established, every employee records their daily working hours and TimeTrack automatically creates their timesheet. Managers can then easily review the timesheets and note areas of concern.


TimeTrack Timesheet

Characteristics of a lazy employee

  1. They’re never at their desks

Being tethered to a desk all day, doing nothing, is difficult, at least for most individuals. It’s likely that a lazy co-worker spends more time away from his desk because he wants to avoid responsibilities.

This could imply that they are trying to appear busy, are required somewhere, or don’t want to appear bored. In the current era of remote work, it’s all too easy for employees to step away from their desks for long periods.

  1. They have an excuse for everything

Unproductive employees have an excuse for why they can’t or shouldn’t do something. They invent reasons to justify their inaction to evade or neglect duties. Most excuses are created to shift the blame from the person’s true problem to an external condition, such as, “Well, the printer broke, so I couldn’t fulfill the assignment deadline.”

Common reasons why lazy individuals create excuses:

  • Failure anxiety
  • Change phobia
  • Fear of difficult situations
  • Responsibility anxiety
  • Lack of self-assurance
  • Lack of dedication

The problem with making excuses is that it inhibits employees from reaching their full potential since it keeps them from new opportunities that could lead to new initiatives.

  1. They seem to always be stressed

Everyone experiences stress at some point. This is normal. With lazy employees, however, stress can start to become their default setting. It’s also most likely caused by guilt rather than being overburdened with work. They are concerned that other employees may point out their sloth.

They go above and beyond to appear proactive and perform the work. It gradually becomes a façade they feel obligated to maintain, increasing stress levels.

  1. Spends much time on social media

This is a common occurrence. Lazy individuals don’t simply spend time on social media platforms; they live, breathe and consume them. While social media may be a terrific way to source new ideas and network, it can also be a significant time thief at work.

  1. Constantly postponing tasks

Deadlines exist for a reason; they act as motivational and performance instruments. One indicator of laziness is being unable to meet deadlines with the rest of the team or postponing tasks without a strong or justifiable explanation. It’s possible that this employee dislikes deadlines and is incapable of handling time-sensitive jobs. This can be due to laziness and other variables that must be examined.

TimeTrack Duty Roster lets you customize work areas and helps you assign employees to work areas. Plan more precisely by developing sub-areas for each task area.


TimeTrack Duty Roster

5 great tips for managing lazy employees

Address lazy performance

In a one-on-one meeting, clearly explain how the employee is underperforming. Ensure that the issues are work-related and not the product of a personality clash.

You should expect failing employees to become defensive and make excuses for their performance issues. Try not to allow that to distract you from addressing the issues at hand. Instead of being confrontational, approach your topic with prudence.

Use the following feedback tactics to guide the conversation:

  • Make your point clear
  • Make it specific
  • Maintain a non-judgmental demeanor
  • Provide detailed steps for moving forward

You must offer the employee an opportunity to respond. Make a concerted effort to listen to what they have to say. Employees’ personal problems may have produced a change in performance so it’s important to give them this chance to speak.

Keep a record of poor work 

Always document work performances and employee activity in these situations. Follow up meetings with notes and minutes, keep a paper trail of personal development plans, track attendances and time management and ensure that both you and the employee have transparency of processes.

Furthermore, this will allow you to understand recurring performance concerns. You should also keep track of the excuses employees use to avoid work.

Be strict when it comes to deadlines and schedules. Creating timetables for projects is one of the simplest strategies for identifying responsibility. It’s fine to be flexible at times yet stick to deadlines at others.

Take disciplinary actions

You’ll have to take harsh measures if you haven’t gotten the desired outcomes. This entails reviewing the available employee disciplinary actions. Examples include suspension, demotion, income reduction, department transfer, loss of privileges, and other measures.

Disciplinary procedures aren’t pleasant, yet they are occasionally necessary. It demonstrates that management will not tolerate inefficiency, which should be communicated to all employees.

Track their time

If your employees are shirking their duties and mismanaging their time – it’s important to notify them. First, ensure that you have the accurate information, such as taking leave without approval, missing meetings, poor attendances etc. Tracking each employee’s time will allow the company to see how much time they spend at work and how much time they spend on breaks.

Pauses are required during working hours; nevertheless, long breaks can make workers less productive. Long breaks throughout working hours may cause an individual to become lethargic and reduce worker efficiency. This activity can only be managed by imposing stringent time constraints and expectations.

TimeTrack Leave Management allows you to manage and oversee leave requests in a simple automated system that promotes transparency and accuracy.


TimeTrack Leave Management

How to motivate lazy employees

You can be a good boss to all your employees and encourage everyone (even the slackers) to accomplish their work.

  • Communication is a crucial aspect of learning about the team and motivating them. When you discover an employee’s low productivity, be open and honest about it.
  • Provide assistance to your employees, such as more training. So, when you first see a ‘lazy’ employee, investigate whether anything is happening behind the scenes and give them constructive criticism.
  • Set distinct goals to assist your team stay motivated. You may also constantly monitor the amount of work completed.
  • If someone is sluggish and bored at work, try giving them extra responsibilities that will push them to do better than they are now.
  • Determine the employee’s strengths and assign tasks based on those strengths.
  • Motivate them for the possibility of progress and career growth within the firm.


Lazy employees are amongst the most difficult to deal with because they may not be breaching any regulations, but are nonetheless disrupting the workplace. A good manager should consider spending more time with them and taking the time to motivate them.