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Working with a slacker colleague can make it hard to do your job, especially if you end up doing additional work to cover for the employee who isn’t pulling his weight. It's one thing to help out a co-worker once in a while. But dealing with a habitual slacker can make you resentful and stressed out, and impact your productivity. If you feel it's time to go to your boss with your concerns so he can reprimand the slacker, there a couple of paths you can take.
When It Hurts You
If the colleague’s slacker behavior impacts you directly, have a private conversation with him and bring up your concerns. You don't have to be confrontational about the situation. Just state the facts and outline the changes you want to see. For example, you might say, "John, it seems like I'm taking twice as many customer service calls as you are every day, and the workload is getting overwhelming. Can we talk about how to even things up?”
Talk To The Boss
Ask for a meeting with your boss to discuss your concerns. Make sure you have documented examples of the problem so you don't come across as sounding petty or jealous. Note the action you've taken to resolve the problem prior to bringing the issue to your boss. You might say, “I've had to handle 80 percent of the last 20 sales proposals by myself because of John's unwillingness to contribute. I talked to him about the issue on several occasions, and he doesn't seem to be concerned. I would appreciate your advice or intervention so we can maintain productivity in our division.”
Write To Your Boss
If you're more comfortable documenting your concerns in writing, create a memo for your immediate supervisor that outlines the problem. Your boss can use the memo for reference when he counsels the slacker colleague. Be straightforward and factual, rather than judgmental, in describing the workload discrepancies and the impact the issue has on you and other department members. Your boss should get the message that you want the slacker to be reprimanded for his poor work effort.
Leave It Alone
If you're in a situation where your co-worker’s inactivity doesn't have a direct impact on you, it's best to consider the situation none of your business and let the employee work out potential performance problems with the boss. While it might be annoying to watch a fellow staffer leave early, shirk responsibility and not contribute to team efforts, he's damaging his own career potential. Your obsessing about it can only distract you and impact your own performance.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.