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Picture this: you are sat at your desk trying to focus on your workload. You are tired and unfocused. It is home time and your colleagues are leaving one-by-one. You want to go home but you can’t, you need to finish this mountain of work by tomorrow morning. The workload your colleague was to help you with, but didn’t, and now you have to put twice as much effort into catching up.

Unfortunately, everybody has come across somebody who is work-shy. Their lack of emotion is a drag and frustrating to say the least. If your co-worker isn’t pulling their weight, you may be tempted to bring this issue up with management. Before you do, you should attempt these subtle strategies. By doing so, you’ll earn respect from your fellow employees and your attempts could get you recognised for a promotion!

If you’re an authority figure in your business and notice certain employees are slacking, you need to take time out to effectively sort this problem. If co-workers notice that certain employees are getting paid the same as them for doing less work, the problem will soon spread.

Here are ten solutions to diminishing those idle office drifters:

1. Stay calm and continue to make progression on your work targets. If your co-workers poor efforts drive you to distraction, you will ultimately become as idle as them. Instead, carry on with your duties and do some thinking on how best to handle the situation.

2. Remember that no one is a mind-reader. Make sure there are no crossed wires and your co-workers know the input required to meet specific deadlines. Don’t nag and get annoyed with their efforts, this will further communication problems.

3. If your co-worker hasn’t always been a poor performer, there could be a situation outside of work occurring. Are they coming to terms with being a newly working parent? Or perhaps they are struggling to find financial stability? Whatever their circumstances, you should make them feel at ease. Make them aware of support avenues and that you are there for them.

4. If you have to stay behind to get work done and pull long hours, don’t get angry, be motivational and encourage others to do so too. Be enthusiastic, be proactive and be the voice of reason.

5. Never give in and do the work yourself just because it is easier than persistently asking from others. As your stress levels topples, you will end up hurting yourself. Instead, make sure the tasks are on your co-workers radar by pulling them aside and telling them that it is important they follow through.

6. What does your work policy manual say? Do you have certain targets to meet in your contract? Make this known to your co-worker as their lack of performance could effectively damage their career. Help your co-workers by prioritising tasks and holding regular meetings to determine the progression being made.

7. Create a suggestion box. Sometimes employees don’t want to say things out loud in group discussions. You may even find that it’s you whom is effecting the teams accomplishments.

8. When your co-worker does eventually pull through with the work required, acknowledge their contributions. You may be resentful and angry at that said individual, but it doesn’t resolve the situation or help future tasks.

9. Management should encourage team building activities to allow one another to develop a working bond. By organising after-work meet-ups, employees will develop a better attitude towards their work and inevitably work towards the same goal.

10. Keep in mind that there is no ‘I’ in team and each member has their own strengths and weaknesses. If they continue to cause problems to the teams performance, discuss with management for further actions to be made.

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Posted by Dawn

Dawn writes for alldayPA, a telephone answering service offering businesses a bespoke call handing service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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