When you are toiling away, dedicating yourself to helping your business succeed, it can be frustrating to watch co-workers taking a more lackadaisical approach. While your co-workers’ lack of a strong work ethic can be an annoyance, however, you aren’t in a position to become bossy and demand their dedication. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to ignore the issue. If you tackle it effectively, you can improve the chances of more of your co-workers willingly stepping up to the plate.
Politely voice your concern to your co-worker in a nonjudgmental fashion. Yes, speaking to the co-worker about the problem may seem an intimidating prospect, but it’s the right tactic to take, suggests Rushworth M. Kidder of the Institute for Global Ethics. Respectfully ask your co-worker if there's anything you can do to help her with organization or more efficiently accomplish her tasks. Explain that you have noticed her not keeping pace and, in the interest of creating a positive workplace climate, would appreciate her joining the team. It might not work, but it’s worth a try. (Oprah) And it provides an opportunity for you to show leadership skills to your boss and your co-worker.
Allow the co-worker to fail. If you are dedicated to the business for which you work, you may be tempted to pick up the slack. Don’t do it. If you take on work that is rightfully hers, you will only reinforce her laziness. Unless failure for a task to be accomplished will shutter the business for which you work, allow the failure to occur so the worker learns her lesson naturally. (Forbes.com)
Focus on rewards you receive. If your co-worker’s laziness is exceptionally apparent, your boss probably already knows about it. Don't let it affect your morale, try to refocus your attention on the praise or tangible prizes you are getting as a result of your on-the-job efforts. By focusing on the positives, you can adjust your attitude and make it easier to work while you wait for this less-than-motivated co-worker’s lack of effort to catch up with her. (CBS MoneyWatch)
Mention the issue to your boss only if an appropriate opportunity presents itself. Running to your boss and crying the blues is the wrong tactic to take. You are not the office cop. Let the boss notice this problem herself unless you have reason to mention it. If, for example, you are completing a project with your lazy office-mate and it is taking longer than you anticipated, it is permissible to cite your co-worker’s lack of effort as one of the causes. (Forbes.com)
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.