“Whenever there is a hard job to be done, I assign it to a lazy man; he is sure to find an easy way of doing it.”
- Walter Chrysler
At first glance, lazy employees seem to be the opposite of an ideal hire. While constantly complaining about how much they have to do, they never seem to be doing anything. But, a lazy employee might not be all that he or she appears to be. Lazy people have an important strength â€’ finding shortcuts. Since they want to do as little as possible, they always find easy ways of getting the job done.
Walter Chrysler needed this kind of lazy genius on his side each time he was called in to save dying car companies. Early in his career, Walter toiled for Buick Motors while the company made 45 cars a day. In less than a decade, he helped to increase production numbers to 600 a day! It was rumoured that the founder of General Motors made Chrysler the salary offer of US$10,000 (US$165,000 in today’s dollars) a month in an attempt to keep him at the helm of Buick. What Chrysler did was to streamline the manufacturing process, putting people and parts in the right places.
Do you manage people who never seem busy enough but appear to keep your organisation humming? Chances are they do something so well that they seem lazy. Take a lesson from their attraction to shortcuts. Organisations with efficient employees can regularly increase their productivity – the route to a fatter bottom line. If you have got “lazy” employees, find out what they do best and ask them to do more of it. At the end of the day, it is hard work that requires easy shortcuts.