How to Deal with a Bum in Your Team

A bum is a lazy or shiftless person. Bums are often incompetent and love to live by other hard work. In a workplace environment, there are employees who spend most of their time doing nothing constructive. Woe unto you if you are allocated a project with a lazy co-worker. You will end up doing the work by yourself, and worse; your team as a whole will be acknowledged for a job well done.

How do you get the bums in your team working? Or how do you get the most out of their laziness?

Understand Their Personalities

Personality is a set of traits that form a person’s distinctive characteristics. Before getting into any work, there is need to understand the personalities of all team members. This allows you to evaluate the kind of tasks each person is capable of performing. It won’t be surprising to establish that the bum in your team is the creative of all. As such, if you are developing software, it makes sense to allocate the bum duties that utilize his skills, such as design. Practical work should be allocated to members with strong technical skills.

Set Strict Time Frames

Teammates work together so they can achieve perfection easily and quickly. However, with a bum in your team, this may be challenging to achieve. Bums always have a way of slowing down things. To ensure your project goes according to plan, allocate tasks to each member and insist on time management. Outline the right consequences for finishing a task outside the set time limits. For example, you could say whoever doesn’t finish the work on time will be deregistered from the project. Everyone knows what this means—trouble with the boss.

Have a Motivational Talk

Sometimes the only thing bums require is a little encouragement. If you are the team leader, you can have sometime alone with the lazy member. Ask him what he feels about the project at hand. Briefly describe the importance of the project and assure him that he is an important member of the team. If you note that he is beginning to get lazy during the course of the project, have the ‘talk’ again. Perhaps he needs frequent bursts of encouragement to keep going!

Emphasize on Group Work

How about taking the ‘work-together’ approach? For starters, this means no creation of sub-teams. Instead, you work together, preferably on a roundtable, where you can keep the bum in check. This also encourages participation.

Embrace Fairness

What next if the bum is totally unresponsive? No matter how hard you try, he just keeps letting the team down. Although you might want to treat him unfairly, refrain from doing so. Bums are often looking for a reason to justify their laziness. Going hard on them will not help you cause. Treat them fairly and they might just keep contributing in their own little way!

So the next time you have lazy workers in your team, don’t get worried. With these tips, you have the complete guide to handling them effectively. Good luck!


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