Career Tips

How to Handle a Slack Co-Worker

Date Posted: 03/3/2015

6 Bad Work Personalities

Whether working locally with other Filipinos or working abroad at a foreign location with a multi-cultural mix, a slack co-worker is someone who consciously doesn’t do what is expected of them, affecting the work of others around them. The co-worker who avoids his/her assigned duties interferes with the movement of the departmental process without giving a damn, and actually getting away with it. Their actions don’t just have a delaying or disruptive influence on the chain of the entire work process in the department, they even expect their colleagues to compensate for them. Soon frustrated, their colleagues feel helpless not knowing how to stop them.

It’s accepted that only a handful of people within an organization actually drive its operations while the others just about manage a minimum average amount of work. However, the conscious slacker is a selfish exploiter and needs to be stopped.

If you happen to be a victim, how long should you tolerate it and why should you let these slackers affect your own work? You must settle this problem so that you can get on with your own work and career building.

Examine why some co-workers behave like this.

First, analyze the reasons for such behavior and then select suitable options for removing/reducing the problem. Try to avoid jumping to conclusions when confronting your slack co-worker and make a thorough analysis of the root cause of the possible reasons for this disturbing behavior.

Consider how much this behavior really affects or bothers you.

Measure the extent and seriousness of your irritation and be clear on exactly how much it is affecting your own work output. You may physically move away from this person, or move out of the conveyor belt of processes, if possible. But if he is not making any direct damage, don’t get involved.

Could it be arising from personal problems?

This requires you to put yourself in their position as much as possible, giving them your impartial understanding and sincere consideration.

Is there a lack of knowledge in the assigned job?

This would call for your supportive hand, professional assistance and guidance, and reassurance in their abilities to shoulder their responsibilities.

Is it an expression of long standing and ignored grievances?

This would require talking to the person to understand any grievance that has led to this kind of slackness or noncooperation.  Once understood and addressed, the slacker may once again be motivated to renewed hard work.

Is this behavior arising from just plain habitual laziness?

This unacceptable reason, which is the primary focus of this article, pertains to a person who does not care for, or does not need his job for whatever reasons viz. short term perspective, ready family alternative, etc. Handling such cases would require a straightforward, non-aggressive discussion, followed by a serious warning of possible consequences, if the situation persists beyond limits.

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