A colleague who doesn’t pull their weight; there is at least one in every office! The one that gets pulled along by the team and somehow slithers out of responsibilities at work. The one who doesn’t give 100% to a project. The one who seems to spend more of their day online shopping than doing work!
However, it can be difficult to determine the best course of action when dealing with a slack co-worker. Should you confront them? Ignore them? Inform your boss?
These are some potential steps you can take in dealing with this colleague.
Determine the Seriousness of the Issue
You first need to establish if the problem is small and whether you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. If so, it might be best to bear it for a while. However, if there is a significant problem with a fellow employee and the amount of work they are doing, it’s important that you don’t let your feelings fester when you can do something about it.
Have a Conversation With Them
If you feel comfortable, the first thing you could try is having a non-confrontational, honest conversation with them. If you lead with empathy, explain what you feel the problem is and suggest possible collective solutions, it will hopefully allow your colleague to recognise you are not attacking them. The goal is to help them feel supported in the realisation they may need to increase their responsibilities.
Speak to Your Manager
If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your colleague or the conversation was not successful, you should speak to your managers and let them know how you are feeling. It’s important here to try and work with them to develop plans for more accountability in tasks, or at least a fairer distribution of work.
Find Autonomy in Your Role
If you are able to utilise more autonomy in your role, this can help you manage your workload and take accountability for your own work. You can ask your manager for more autonomy and job clarity, in regards to where and how you will spend your time. Then, if a colleague isn’t pulling their weight, you can be 100% sure you are accounting for all aspects of your own role.
Look for Interests or Hobbies Outside of Work.
Research has shown that workers are better able to manage demanding roles if they have a fulfilling and rich life outside of work. You should look for something you are passionate about, whether that’s working out, cooking, reading or anything that engages your interests, as it can help take your mind off work and you will feel better focused when you return.
It can be difficult to know what to do if a workmate is slacking, but these strategies can help you cope with someone who is not pulling their weight.
We would love to hear about your own experiences. Had a situation like this in the past? Share any tips that might be helpful!
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