I have had a few conversations recently where the employee was said to be under performing or certainly not performing to the potential and were incorrectly labelled as lazy from their boss.
Confirming this to the employee didn’t amend their behaviour either and in the eyes of their boss, this just confirmed it was indeed a correct diagnosis.
However, I don’t think laziness exists.
There are several contributing factors that are not being considered which have an impact on performance. Previous successes, receiving accolades for achievement and current surroundings and environment all play a part in the person disengaging and being labelled as laziness.
When the layers are peeled back, fear of failure plays a huge part in employee’s disengagement.
Sadly, they are usually diagnosed by observation only when their disengagement and a lack of commitment has resulted in the label of laziness.
Closer to the truth was the fact that if they didn’t try so hard, failure would be less painful.
They had lost their motivation to succeed and this disengagement positioned themselves to not wanting to achieve.
In my experience seldom, if at all, is someone just lazy. They can become disengaged and lose their level of commitment and here the effective coach and/or mentor can motivate them to achievable goals again. In these recent discussions these poor souls had just lost their commitment and motivation to succeed through internal fears.
Fundamentally, I believe laziness doesn’t exist.
Everyone is motivated by something. This something is different for all of us and pre-judgement associates laziness when another person’s motivational hooks are different to their own.
I’ve witness football players, colleagues and friends being incorrectly labelled but once individual motivational hooks, desires and focus are established, these employees soon excel and achieve once again, to feel good about themselves.