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How To Deal With A Lazy Co-Worker

Lazy co-workers can be very annoying. They can affect business efficiency and lead to lowering group morale around the office. Below are a few ways to deal with this problem in a calm manner.

#1 Call ‘Em Out On It

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If the transgression where affects you once you should let it pass. Give the person the benefit of the doubt. But the second time you see it; where it affects you, take the person aside in a non-confrontational tone of voice and relaxed facial expression and say,

“You can work any way you want. That’s your choice. The one way you cannot is when it negatively affects me. I will not allow anyone to cause me not to perform to the level I want and when you ________ that affects me. So here is what I want and what I don’t want regarding ______. Get it? Any questions? Good.”

If they repeat their behavior take aside again and ask, “What part of this don’t you understand. I don’t let anyone cause me to do a poor job and you are because of ______. So here is what I want and what I don’t want regarding ________".

If it’s a third time, take the person aside and say, “You are requiring more work on my part than I’m willing to give. I’m going to talk to our manager about this situation. You are welcome to be in on the conversation. But I repeatedly told you that I will not let someone cause me not to work my work.” I guarantee one of those steps will stop that person’s behavior — at least around you!

Contributors: Debra Benton from CEOwhisperer

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#2 Avoid Enabling

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Lazy people are successful because they are either very strong verbally and can talk their way out of anything, or ride on the efforts of others who avoid conflict. Lazy people either need to be caught and forced to change, or removed. Make it easy to expose them. Do NOT enable them by covering for their responsibilities. Refuse to do their work based on the priorities assigned to you by your manager. You cannot compromise your own responsibilities. If assigned work that requires collaboration with the lazy individual, make your expectations clear for their contribution with a deadline. If they don't help, submit your work without giving any credit to the other person. Verbally tell your manager why only your name appears on the work. 

Contributors: Jeff Skipper from Jeff Skipper Consulting 

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#3 Private Discussion Works

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I try to reach him/her by asking about personal things like family, friends, passions, travels and some other topics to look for a reason of their laziness. It worked so many times. Sometime I found out their are willing to have a day off to enjoy their family. Just simple as that. Other time I found out they lost a good friend and didn't have the courage to talk about it.

Contributors: Andrei Kovacs from Ubirimi 

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#4 Encourage Them To Think Positive

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So many bad things and thoughts are surrounding us that sometimes we just got a bad feeling about anything.. Maybe not going to be depressed, but being in a bad mood. Feel free to encourage and appreciate their work, make them to think and see the positive side of the things and push them forward to higher limits. Challenge them. Appreciate them. Respect them.

Contributors: Andrei Kovacs from Ubirimi 

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#5 Find The Root Cause Of The Laziness

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Working with a lazy co-worker can suck the life out of you and make your job miserable. A great way to deal with this is to find our why the co-worker is lazy. Most of the time you will uncover that there is an underlying issue that is causing the laziness. I will admit this is easier said than done. If you are tactful in your approach and engage the co-worker in casual conversation, you can usually get them to open up. Once your know more about the cause of the laziness and what motivates them, you can try to encourage them to be more engaged and productive. If all else fails, direct your concerns to someone in a position of authority so they can investigate and address the issue at their discretion.

Contributors: Anthony DeLoatch from DreamLife Business Builders, LLC 

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#6 Clarify All Accountabilities

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Dealing with a colleague who does less than their fair share can eat into your time, productivity, and wellbeing. Not only do you feel obliged to pick up slack, the frustration of giving your all while watching someone else get away with scraping through the day can become consuming in itself. Lazy colleagues create a tempest of poor habits and bad vibes; it can be difficult to avoid being sucked in.

Isolating yourself from their habits, their baggage, and their responsibilities, however, is the only way to safeguard both your professional success, and your sanity. As tricky as it can be to carve out clean, distinct workloads when you're part of a team, you should try and clarify all accountabilities within a project from the very beginning, with unambiguous tasks and deadlines for everyone involved. As tempting as it might be to shoulder the work of others to get things over the line, this will only create an expectation going forward-if your co-worker doesn't deliver, you can refer back to the plan, and make culpability clear. It may be difficult to weather in the short-term, but it will help highlight where the issues lie within your team, and prompt change.

Contributors: Andy Farrell from Nigel Frank International

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#7 Sneaky Accountability…Make A Bet!

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If a co-worker is on an assignment with you, and they’re laziness affects your bottom line, start off with a conversational approach. Ask while at the vending machines or at lunch, “Hey! How’s project X going for you?” if they haphazardly respond with a checked out answer, follow up with, “Man, I hear you. Is there anything I can do to help you stay on track?” Or, if they’re the type that’ll mooch off of your work and put their delegations on you, respond with, “I hear you, this project’s kicking my butt, too. Hey - could I ask for your help? Could you be my accountability partner on tackling this project? Could we check in with one another at the end of the day around how much work we tackled?” OR take a fun approach, “Let’s make a bet. Whoever knocks out [deadline Y] first buys the other person M&Ms. Think you got what it takes?

Contributors:  Eric Hobbs from Technology Associates 

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#8 You Can’t Live With Them And You Can’t Live Without Them

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There is always at least one, whether you get the warning or not - the real question is what do you do when you have to encounter them, or when you have to supervise them? Everyone has their own motivation great or small, let's first call them less motivated. Determine how their position intertwines with your position, determine what they do really well and try to get to know them. Most times you'll find (as frustrating as it is to work with someone who doesn't have the same worth ethic as yourself), that people who are lazy or less motivated do something really well - find out what they master and rely on them solely for that skill set. Intertwine that skill set into their role. Then as you get to know them, you'll understand why they're less motivated. Once they gain your trust, they'll perform their role or task better for you because they won't want to disappoint you.

Contributors:  Temeka Thompson from Career Coach

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#9 Ask If He/She Needs Support

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A lazy co-worker will finish his/her task later then expected or deals with some tasks that look to be harder than usual. Feel free to ask about his/her opinion about this and check yourself they are not afraid to start it because of the hard-work appearance of the task. Sometimes it's good to ask themselves to explain what they need to do, to make sure we both understand the work. In this way, we are clarifying together all the topics, we put in a good light the work we have and we are make it to sound easy to start it.

Contributors: Andrei Kovacs from Ubirimi 

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#10 Check The Due Date With Him/Her

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A lazy-coworker will ask for a longer time to fulfill the task. I usually discuss about this aspect and make a breakthrough of the task to make sure we understand all the resources needed (time, effort, other colleagues involved, and so on). Look for ways to improve the due date by working on topics you need to wait for (example: a colleague's availability), but also working on some other topics in parallel to save the time. And yes, go and check from time to time the status, to make sure both of you are following the plan.

Contributors: Andrei Kovacs from Ubirimi 

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#11 Surround The Lazy Co-Worker With Younger Employees

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That works so well and fast. Seeing the eager to grow and work of the younger employees is such a good treatment against laziness for the older employees that lost their motivation. They will be surrounded by positive energy, by younger minds that can bring new topics, new ideas and deep thoughts to empower the lazy-coworker in just few minutes.

Contributors: Andrei Kovacs from Ubirimi 

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#12 Escalate. It’s Another Solution Too

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In a friendly way, of course, like: Hey my friend, I see you struggle to finish the task in time. I should ask our team leader to allocate another colleague to help you with that. Sometimes, this works so fast you can't imagine. Why? They don't want to have the image of being incapable with the task and they change their mind quick and prove they can do it.

Contributors: Andrei Kovacs from Ubirimi 

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Written by Zak Parker

Article Writer, Pianist, Internet Marketing Enthusiast; I delve into a variety of creative mediums and take advantage of what they have to offer. With experience in SEO, Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing and Advertising, I'm a plethora of general marketing knowledge and enjoy helping those new to the game get their foot through the door. I'm always excited to hear of the latest method, or if the chance presents itself, create my own.

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