How to Get a Boss to Reprimand Slacker Employees

Tying your argument to productivity or safety will probably get the boss' attention.

Tying your argument to productivity or safety will probably get the boss' attention.

When you're working hard at your job, it's tough to see others slacking off. While you could lose your cool and start cussing them out, there are more productive ways to handle the situation. Talking to your boss is one way to try to get co-workers to start pulling their weight -- just be sure you're going about it in a professional way that won't earn you the title of tattle-tale.

Take notes about the problem you're having with the slacker employee, or better yet, produce figures that show that person's productivity compared to others'. If you're in sales, that could be pretty easy, since you'll have your sales figures to look to. For other jobs, it could be tougher, but one option is to make notes about what that person is doing throughout the day. Every 15 minutes or so, take note of what that person is doing, whether it's surfing the Internet, talking with co-workers or doing job-related tasks. If the slacker's activities are causing safety problems, note the date, time and circumstance. Having this documentation will give you something concrete to show the boss.

Brainstorm any solutions you may have for fixing the situation, or having the problem employee pull more of his own weight. As a co-worker it's not likely to be your job to find ways to reprimand another employee, so stick with brainstorming solutions that will be tied to productivity and safety, and not to discipline. When you meet with your boss, you don't want to seem as if you're trying to do her job, but instead helping to make her job easier by giving insight about employees' day-to-day activities.

Email or talk to the boss to ask for a private meeting. Don't get into details about the problem just yet -- just tell her calmly and professionally that you'd like to talk about a staff issue.

Start off the meeting on a positive note, assuring the boss that you know she will be the one to help solve the problem you're having. Do not accuse the boss of negligence for not noticing the issue, and avoid getting emotional when you introduce the problem. Tell your boss you need her help to solve the problem, then present your timeline, sales figures or other documentation you've gathered about the slacker employee's performance.

Ask the boss whether there are any follow-up tasks she'd like you to take on to help solve the problem. Throughout the meeting, stay calm and don't get emotional; remember that you're simply providing information and letting the boss take it from there.

Tip

  • Avoid gossiping with other employees about your meeting with the boss, or otherwise discussing the problem with others. If the word gets out that you went to the boss, you may have even bigger conflicts with the slacker employee or his friends later.
 

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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