How to Deal With Slackers at the Office

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July 21, 2014 1:51 PM EST

Slackers at the office can sometimes be ignored, but if the problem begins to interfere or slow down your work, it is time to make some changes. You can enforce measures that will boost productivity in the workplace without hurting your relationship with colleagues.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A cat sits and looks at a computer next to the window of the cat cafe in New York April 23, 2014. The cat cafe is a pop-up promotional cafe that features cats and beverages in the Bowery section of Manhattan.

Here are a few tried and proven tips on how to manage the lazy ones.

1. Send them a list

When dealing with subordinates, leave them with a list on their desk or send them an email of the tasks you need to have them do together with the specific deadlines. Specifying the items in a list will show that you are aware of the things that they need to accomplish. It also helps individuals who have trouble organising their activities. By making a list, you are being non-confrontational and helping them organise as well.

2. Talk in private

If a note or sending them an email seemed ignored, ask to talk to the person in private. Spend 10 to 20 minutes talking about work and let them explain why they cannot accomplish the things required of them. Offer help but state your expectations at the same time. Let them know how much their slacking affects your work as well and find ways to meet objectives together.

3. Tell your boss

If the other two approaches do not work, it may be time to let administration know about the negative behaviour. Write a formal letter stating your concerns then specify the person as well as the activities which you discovered to be disruptive in the workplace and how much it affects the lack of productivity. Providing figures for comparison will strengthen your case. Ask to talk to your boss in private then provide the written document while discussing the details verbally.

4. Find others negatively affected

Look for other individuals who also notice the slackers then have them meet with the superior officers as well. This will show how the behaviour affects the overall environment. In turn, bosses will respond immediately to the problem due to the growing number of people whose work is also impaired.

Give the slackers some time to adjust to the proposed activities. The boss will most likely have someone monitor or evaluate everyone's activities to ensure that deadlines are met and tasks are efficiently accomplished. 

(Photo: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri / )
A cat sits and looks at a computer next to the window of the cat cafe in New York April 23, 2014. The cat cafe is a pop-up promotional cafe that features cats and beverages in the Bowery section of Manhattan.
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