“What have you tried?” I asked.
“I’ve told him to do what he thinks needs to be done and don’t wait around for me to give him an assignment. He wasn’t responsive, so I started giving him detailed checklists.”
“How did that work?”
“Not so well. Eric made a half-hearted effort to do a few things but mostly he just conjured up excuses.”
Effective leaders are attentive to each employees’ uniqueness. Some like detailed instructions, some like broad guidance. Some like public praise but public attention embarrasses others. Pressure motivates some people to rise to the occasion, others buckle.
If your current way of dealing with an employee is not producing the desired results, then change your methods.
Since micromanaging did not work with Eric, maybe the leader could try giving him specific outcomes with deadlines and a lot of freedom in performing his tasks.
Of course, if a leader tries several ways to motivate an employee and none seem to work, it is likely that the employee just does not have the talent or commitment to perform.