Help Your Snail Employees to Run

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We have all heard Bill Gates say that he would choose a lazy person to do a complex job because the lazy person would find an easy way of doing it.

While that is still true, lazy people still stagnate the growth of the company as well as other employees. These employees are seldom motivated to accomplish a task and you would always see them lying around the office.

In fact, these are the first to take leaves, leave for home early, and refuse to work from home in case of an emergency.

Simply put, lazy workers can easily spoil your growth and hamper your reputation. You would soon start delivering every work late, which would reduce and spoil your organization’s brand image. All this will start reflecting online in no time and even before you blink, your reputation will be gone.

However, this is not to say that you can’t motivate your lazy, snail employees. Some people are just wired that way. They are not lazy but they are slow workers. And other people become lazy over time. In all, you can change the situation and here’s how:

Look for Signs

Pick the signs and react as soon and as fast as possible. Don’t delay, simply jump in and control the situation. The signs that you may see are:

  • Ignoring small tasks.
  • Delegating difficult work.
  • Refusing to take up time-intensive projects.
  • Willing to do minimum jobs for the bonus.
  • Taking long tea or lunch breaks.
  • Regularly calling in sick.
  • Making weak excuses for missed deadlines.

These people are first to let go of good opportunities. When you see the signs, here’s what you need to do.

Set Clear Expectations

Set clear timelines for every work. When you leave it on the employee, he will definitely delay it.

For example, tell them clearly to deliver before 4 PM without delay. Ensure that you explicitly state that no delays will be accepted and the caused delay will lead to serious repercussions.

Talk and Talk!

Have a one-on-one talk with the employee. Sometimes, there is a reason for laziness at the workplace. For instance, the employee may be a new dad and he has to stay awake at night, which may be causing laziness.

You can cut him some slack and ask him to come in a little late or leave a little early. Simply complete work before deadlines.

It is possible that you may lose your anger due to the laziness of some employees. Don’t be impolite. Just plainly ask them to maintain the office decorum and work accordingly or you will eventually have to raise the issue to the HR team.

Or, Train

When during talking you realize that the employee is undertrained, train them. Re-focus their energy in tasks they enjoy or help them fully understand the work they are doing. You can even ask a career counselor to come in and encourage your employees.

It is necessary for the employees to understand their true interests and find their potential to work with efficiency.


Create written documents for poor performing employees. Add it to their employee’s panel and let them realize that everything is being recorded. You should make it clear that sluggish attitude will not be tolerated at the workplace at any cost.

This is also important to see how much your employees have improved. You don’t want to keep judging them on their past attitudes and behaviors. People change and your recognition system should consider that.

Set the Limit

Lastly, know the limit!

You can motivate and encourage your employees as much as you want. Some will set foot on the right path or grab the opportunity. But, some don’t.

So, you need the limit to analyze until when you can tolerate such behavior. When it is severely impacting the organization’s health, take necessary actions and eliminate the employee, give them warnings, or ask them to find another suitable job role.


Sluggish, lazy, and snail employees eventually start stagnating the growth of the organization as well as the growth of the other employees. When other A-performing employees see that lazy performers are being tolerated, everyone starts building a laid-back attitude towards work. Hence, you can’t let loose in any case. You have to take action and increase the performance of lazy workers.

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HR Connect In house Author

HR Connect In house Author

Our inhouse authors have expertise in several areas of HR and Payroll. Their content contributions have been published in leading blogs, websites and print publications.
HR Connect In house Author

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