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Colleague not pulling their weight? This might help


30 September 2019 at 8:18 am
Maggie Coggan
Working alongside a colleague who is dragging the chain or just not doing their job properly is exhausting. We all know that. But what can you do about it? 


Maggie Coggan | 30 September 2019 at 8:18 am


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Colleague not pulling their weight? This might help
30 September 2019 at 8:18 am

Working alongside a colleague who is dragging the chain or just not doing their job properly is exhausting. We all know that. But what can you do about it? 

It’s an issue Deborah Wilson, head of careers at On Talent, has helped clients deal with for many years. So we sat down with her for some advice.   

What’s the first point of action if you’re getting annoyed by a colleague not pulling their weight? 

The first thing you need to do is identify what it is that’s irritating you about them not pulling their weight. It’s often the case that they’ve never actually pulled their weight, it’s something else that’s changed for you, such as a bigger workload, that’s made you notice how lazy they are. But before you go to them, you need to really pin-point what it is that’s annoying you about them. 

Should you confront them directly? 

You have to have a conversation with them about it. This is something that people aren’t doing very well at the moment, we’re taking the softer option, which is just to let it go and hope it goes away. But if you confront your co-worker about how you’re feeling, then it gives them the chance to improve, or explain themselves. Because potentially, their drop in performance might be to do with something going on in their life that is impacting their performance. 

Should you take further steps if nothing happens?  

The key thing is you can’t start something if you’re not intent on finishing it. It depends if you are in a position to make a decision on it or whether you need to escalate it. 

Going to your manager about it can also help if it is a critical issue. But you do have to be very careful, because a lot of people have a lot of issues and sometimes that seeps into productivity, so you’ve got to be sensitive enough to ask the right questions. Just asking them if everything is okay is a very good first step. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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