The Secret to Purging Lazy Employees and Keeping Great Ones

By Blog, Innovation, Leadership

No matter how you cut it, there are just some people you want to banish from your team.  You know the “come in at 9:05 , leave at 4:55, that’s not my job, and I’m just biding my time” type.

The problem is: You can’t justify firing them for “doing their job” and still not have a long talk with HR.


Wouldn’t  it be cool if they just decided to leave… on their own… without you having to white-knuckle your steering wheel every time they crossed the path of your car during lunch…. or revving your engine after you followed them to that favorite lunch spot about two blocks down and …wait…wait…I digress.

Well you can get them to leave without any jail time… and it’s easy.

All you have to do is TRAIN THEM! YEP!

There is this saying:  You should train the people that you want stay.  Well, you should also train the ones that you want to leave.


Here’s why!

When I owned BizIntel we had a mandatory number of hours that employee had to get training every 6 months.  The training had to be something they could use instantly.  Further within 2 weeks after training, they had to share what they learned in a lunch and learn with their co-workers, including how they’d applied that new information at work.

There is a host of benefits of this type of training including: Presentation skills, team building, process improvement, etc.  But one of the other benefits was that slackers either left or de-slacked.

People who were high achievers loved the concept of applying new knowledge and teaching others.  They were always amping up the quality of their work and productivity.

The people who were slack asses hated it!

They would say things like, “Can’t I just do my job without all this extra stuff.”

Since our company was successful because of innovation the answer was… “Uh.. hell no!”  Eventually (usually about 4 weeks after the training) the slackers left.

Here’s the lesson:

Set the expectation that when you learn, you will do and teach.
Those that want to learn, do, and teach will stay. Those that don’t will leave.


The Video Below is a Periscope shot by an audience member.  It is from a Breakout Session with a women’s group at a conference titled Stand Out! Stand Up! Lean In!   This small segment is titled “OWN THE SPOTLIGHT!” which gets ladies on the stage to do crazy stuff while owning the spotlight.  The audio is good but the wifi killed the video.