Everyone has worked with someone who doesn’t pull his weight. You often don’t know whether to confront the person, speak to your boss, or mind your own business. If someone’s slacking is not affecting your work, don’t intervene.
But if your job is suffering, here’s what to do:
- Put yourself in his shoes. Do you know the root causes of his behavior? Slacking doesn’t always mean laziness — it could mean difficulty at home or a struggle to understand a new assignment.
- Converse instead of confront. Speak up, but don’t be accusatory. Approach the conversation with a genuine willingness to solve the problem.
- Stick to the facts. Raise specific examples of the behavior and explain its impact on you and others. Keep the conversation forward-looking.
- Be flexible. You might think you know the best way to fix the problem, but you can’t fixate on pre-set solutions. It’s more effective to guide the person in exploring different options.
Adapted from “How to Deal with a Slacker Coworker” by Carolyn O’Hara.