If a recent survey of 549 workers is typical and Im sure it is more than nine out of 10 employees can name at least one co-worker who doesnt pull his or her weight.
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
And at least one in four of those surveyed said their own work increases as a result. Drives you crazy, right?
Ideally, sub-par performance conversations are held between managers and their direct reports, and slackers who dont meet standards are let go.
In the real world, though, that doesnt always happen. So what to do if youre miserable at work with an obvious, unaccountable slacker?
Joseph Grenny, who co-wrote Crucial Confrontations, says only 10 percent of co-workers tackle the challenge of confronting slacker peers in the workplace. Most keep quiet and carry on for good reasons:
They dont think speaking up will make a difference; they dont want to hurt existing relationships; they dont think its their place; they fear retaliation, or they simply dont know how to broach the subject.
But if youre up for a performance-improvement attempt, here are Grennys tips to try to hold a peer accountable:
• Dont charge into a blame game. Start a conversation with the slacker as a curious friend instead of an angry co-worker.
• Be sure to tell your co-worker that you have mutual goals (even if youre not sure). Explain why youre concerned.
• Be specific. Share facts. Describe the work gap between whats expected by the organization and whats delivered.
• Ask if your sub-performing co-worker sees the situation differently from you. Let him or her know youre open to hearing a different perspective.
Good workers, who are sincerely concerned about quality and productivity, sometimes decide to intervene. But it requires finesse to not make bad situations worse.
The goal is to avoid exacerbating your individual stress, damaging group morale or harming the organization.
In the end, if you cant stay silent or if your intervention attempts dont seem to improve the situation, you have a decision: Stay and accept the inequality of labor or leave.