5 ways to deal with colleagues who shirk duties

Team Spirit
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Team Spirit

True team spirit is not just about having a shared vision and purpose, it’s also about working collaboratively.

However, situations may occur sometimes when a few employees do not work as well, or as effectively as others, causing a breakdown in the smooth functioning of the team.

Brinda Dasgupta has tips from experts on how to deal with colleagues who shirk duties.

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Step In
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Step In

If you share a good relationship with the colleague, try and understand what triggered the drop in motivation — whether it is a change in competence or in attitude.

“This helps in realising whether it is just a rough patch or if the person requires help to reconcile with deeper issues. As a colleague, show that you are looking out for him/her because that’s what true team spirit is all about,” says Sunitha Lal, HR head, Ather Energy.

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Step Up
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Step Up

How you portray yourself and your intentions in this situation is very important, says Kenneth Lean, vice president, Mercuri Urval India. “Try to become that ‘buddy’ that is willing to help your lagging colleague. This will show true influential leadership,” he says.

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Don’t follow the pattern
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Don’t follow the pattern

It’s all too easy to be pulled into the pattern of shirking duties much like the employee in question does. Avoid doing so by dreaming big and thinking deeper and wider. “Avoid being pulled into circles that justify shirking duties,” says Lal.

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See The Opportunity
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See The Opportunity

Don’t fall into the trap of complaining that things are unfair because you’re having to do more than your share of the work. “One should consider additional tasks as an opportunity that will give better exposure to grow professionally and personally,” says Archana Kumari, senior director of HR at Simplilearn.

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Escalate The Matter
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Escalate The Matter

If all else has failed, consider telling the boss, but be careful how you do so. “If you escalate the matter in a manner that is reminiscent of gossip, it can lead to corridor whispers and will make you look unprofessional and petty.

Be sure to report it in a professional manner and bring up specific instances rather than being vague,” says Lean.

One should ask for help from the boss only after one has explored options to resolve it with the person directly and they didn’t work out, says Jyoti Nair, vicepresident of business operations at HackerRank.

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