How to Encourage Hard Work…Without Being an Annoying Leader

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / May 9, 2022
Want to encourage hard work among employees...but don't want to come off as someone breathing down their necks? Read on to learn how!

It can be tough finding the right balance when it comes to encouraging hard work while not being an annoying leader. On the one hand, you want your team to push themselves to their limits in order to achieve success.

On the other hand, you don’t want them to feel like they’re working against you every step of the way.

It’s important to find the right balance to motivate your team to work hard, without you becoming an annoyance to them. Here are some tips to do just that!

5 Practical Ways to Encourage Hardwork Without Being an Annoying Leader

1. Let your team know you expect hard work.

It can be as simple as letting them know what you expect from them. Lack of communication is the biggest productivity killer.

Some people will do what you want because they think they’re supposed to; others will do what they want regardless of what’s expected of them. While this can be frustrating, there’s a way to deal with it. You should tell them exactly what you expect them and make it clear.

Sometimes, a lack of communication causes employees to make assumptions about their responsibilities.

For example, if you need your team members to come to the office at 9:00 a.m. every day, then tell them that. If you need them to put in 60 hours of work a week, then tell them that. If you need them to take on new responsibilities, then tell them that.

By letting them know what you expect, they’ll be more likely to try to meet those expectations.

Moreover, employees sometimes do not follow through with a task because they don’t understand its purpose or importance. So have a chat with them and tell them how it will contribute to organizational goals and their own personal growth.

This will also help them to know what they’re working for and why they’re working hard. This will make them feel purposeful, respected, and valued and encourage them to put in the extra effort.

2. Give them clear feedback…or even better, show them.

Most of the time, employees do not work as hard as they should because they think it’s not that important.

The problem here is the lack of understanding about where they fit in the organization’s entire structure.

For instance, if an employee in the accounts department has a job of verifying the payroll information of every employee every single month. They may slack off a little bit, thinking it’s just verification; I can do it tomorrow or the day after. They may not realize that some employees may not get paid until their hours are verified, as some may be hired on an hourly basis.

If you show them what happens after they verify the payroll and how not doing so can delay salaries for others, they will be motivated to do the job on time.

3. Give them time off every now and then.

Sometimes, employees might underperform because they’re experiencing burnout. According to a study, 77% of employees face burnout at their job sometime in their careers. So an unproductive attitude may be because they just don’t have any energy left to complete the tasks efficiently.

So if you want your team to feel valued and encourage hard work, try to give them time off to recharge their batteries. However, don’t just let them go on a vacation without letting them know what you expect when they return. Make it clear that they do what they need to do during this break, but they should be at their 100% when they return.

4. Set deadlines.

One of the most effective ways to encourage hard work is by setting realistic deadlines.

Try to talk to your employees about their project or task and see when they can finish it. Try to come to a middle ground when negotiating deadlines to ensure they are realistic.

The deadline should not be too strict that it takes away your employees’ night’s sleep. But it should not be too relaxed that it affects other organizational processes.

5. Set consequences and be consistent with follow-through.

Let your team know how you’re going to hold them accountable if they fail to meet expectations.

This should not be done to make them feel fear but to let them know that their actions will have reactions. It’s simply because if they fail to meet a deadline or complete a task correctly, other people in the organization can suffer.

Their lack of processing paperwork can delay others’ salaries, or if they don’t finish raw material procurement, it can cause production delays. Once you make this clear, set a punishment but in a respectful way. You can say something like the following.

I believe you can finish this task by this date. I know you’re a hardworking person; otherwise, I would’ve not given this responsibility to you. However, you know how important this task is, so be sure to do it in time; otherwise, I’ll have no choice but to put you on a warning or let you go.

If the employee still keeps slacking off, you need to follow through with the punishment. This will set an example for others and let them know that even though you’re a flexible leader, there’s still a line they cannot cross.

Parting Thoughts

It can be quite frustrating when you set high standards for your team, but they don’t seem to be meeting them. Worse still, they’re not even trying!

How do you encourage hard work while not being an annoying leader? The answer lies in setting expectations upfront, providing clear feedback, and sometimes granting team members some time off.

By also setting deadlines and consequences for not meeting them, you’ll ensure that everyone on your team is aware of the expectations and knows what it takes to meet them.

About The Author


Taha Khan is a professional content writer by trade. He is a business administration graduate with a focus and interest in marketing and entrepreneurship. Khan has been working as a content writer for several years and has collaborated with 100+ businesses on their content marketing projects. When not writing, he is probably reading – mostly going through psychology and philosophy books. And when Khan is not reading, he is gaming on his PC – another hobby mostly associated with introverts.