How to Deal With Employees Who Are Slacking Off

how to deal with employees who are slacking off

We’ve all worked with that team member, the one who seems to do as little work as possible. When teammates or employees slack off on the job, it’s frustrating for everyone involved. Individuals who fail to pull their fair share of the workload can create resentment, low morale and disengagement.  Here are five tips to deal with employees who are slacking off.

Create a shared vision

Shared visions create motivation and commitment within the team environment. Goals serve as a way to define success criteria for both the team and individual members. When the team defines a clear goal or vision, individual members stand behind that sense of shared purpose. While it is one thing to define your goals, it’s another thing to get people to care about the goal. When members share the goal and help to define it, they are much more likely to care about achieving it. And when members want to achieve a goal, they will inevitably put in their fair share of effort to help the team reach that goal. As a result, their commitment levels increase, and team members pick up the slack. Without a shared and clear goal, however, individual members may be less likely to give their full effort as a result of indifference to the goal or confusion about what exactly the goal is.

Set Clear Expectations

To help dispel confusion, good leaders define clear tasks for each team member. When members know exactly what they need to do and know their deadlines, they lose excuses for not doing their fair share of the workload. Using a project management tool like a GANTT chart is a simple step toward helping leaders and managers hold each team member accountable when they’re not doing their job.

Minimize Group Size

Limit the size of the group and try to stay under ten people. When the team is large, it’s easy for members to assume other people will do the work or pick up the slack. Additionally, without enough tasks for each member, some members will find themselves doing small and unimportant tasks. That can lead them to think their contribution is minimal or unimportant. When limiting the number of members on a team or project, each member can be an integral and valuable part of the team.

Build Relationships

Creating personal relationships within the team is an important step in ensuring member commitment. When individuals don’t feel connected to other members, it’s easier for them to give less than their best effort. In a cohesive group, members enjoy working together and don’t want to let their colleagues down. The tasks become less about individual contribution and more about team success.

Acknowledge Individual Contributions

If leaders do not acknowledge individual contributions, members may feel their work is going unnoticed. Publicly recognition can reinforce and validate hard work. This encourages all members to continue exerting their full effort for the team.