This is an article from a while back, I have it available for download on my site here:
But in light of my new blog, I am going to add them to the blog so you don’t need to download it anymore!
Enjoy the read!
Daily Courier, Thursday, May 28, 2002 Business Section – By Steve MacNaull
“You’re lazy,” is not a good conversation opener. “I tell all my seminar participants that right at the very beginning,” Michelle Ray says with a laugh.
A manager – even if they think an employee is lazy – shouldn’t come right out and say it because that’s a subjective observation. Address the actions that led you to believe that worker is lazy.
For instance, the employee has started to consistently hand in work late or incomplete. “Talk to them in a non-confrontational way,” says Ray. “Find a part of the job they are doing well and praise them first. Then ask them what their thoughts are on the deadline for that project.”
By asking them, rather than blaming them, the door is open for a discussion that could lead to a solution. The answer might be for the manager to be more specific next time about what is expected and when. This could mean the employee just needed clarification and will do good work on time from now on.
“If a supervisor gives the worker the benefit of the doubt the first time, usually behaviours will change,” says Ray. “Communication is the solution.”
If the employee is lazy and was simply trying to get away with something because he or she could, the meeting acts as a warning that will hopefully shape him up.
“The goal of the meeting is to find some possible solutions and conclude the meeting positively,” says Ray.
“If that doesn’t happen, then agree on an action plan where the employee does come up with some solutions-in writing-to be presented to you by a certain date.” If the action plan is late or doesn’t get done, the manager has no choice but to start documenting reasons to fire this employee. Three sets of documentation will be needed and the worker has to be notified every step of the way so he can change his ways if he wants to.
“Termination is a last resort,” stresses Ray. “The documentation outlines the consequences if things don’t change.” The vast majority of workers do what they’re expected to do on time. However, it’s a minority of thumb-twiddlers, whiners and insubordinates that cause conflict and force managers to take action. “Half of the problem is managers not making tough decisions and practicing preventative maintenance,” says Ray.
“Some employees are only getting away with what they can get away with.” Preventative maintenance is outlining to workers exactly what their job description is and what’s expected of them by when. “If the manager can do this in a way where they are asking rather than telling, so much the better,” she says. “The key is to bring out the best in everybody.”