The Dead-Weight Co-Worker


If you have been working for any length of time, you’ve probably run into this type of person. They don’t pull their own weight. They’re late for deadlines and their work is not up to par. They may find any number of reasons why something won’t work. How should you deal with a co-worker like this? Here are a few tips.

How does it impact you?

Determine how the person’s actions – or lack thereof – are affecting your work. Are you forced to go over their work to make sure it’s up to par? Do you need to do work they have left undone?

You cannot effectively take control of the situation if you don’t know what impact it is having on you.

Talk to the person.

Confront the person in a polite way about their poor work ethic. It is possible the person is such a lost cause that your words will have little to no effect. But it is also possible if you clearly lay out how their poor effort is forcing you to do more, it may cause them to change their behavior. Make sure you are clear and specific about what is not being done.

Talk to your supervisor.

If your slack co-worker is impacting your work and talking to the person has not helped, take the issue to your supervisor and explain to them what is happening. Be specific regarding how your work is suffering because you have to cover for the other person. Having documentation will also help.

Do not do the person’s work for them.

You might be tempted to step in and cover for the person, to take up the slack. Don’t. If the person comes to you asking for help, turn them down politely. A good excuse is you are already overburdened with work. By doing this, it’s easier for a supervisor to see the person is not carrying their weight.

There may be things you don’t know.

It is possible that something is being done about this co-worker. If this is the case, naturally it will not be advertised. The supervisor may be working with the person to improve their performance, or they may have received warnings. This is something to keep in mind.

Look after yourself.

Don’t let your slothful co-worker affect your attitude or your outlook. Focus on yourself and doing the best job you can. It is easy to get caught up in feelings of anger and resentment, but this is counterproductive. Remember, your idle co-worker is just hurting their own reputation.

If you are an insurance professional looking for work, contact Insurance Relief today. We are one of the best in the business, winning a Best in Staffing award for our accomplishments. At Insurance Relief, we care about the people we recruit as individuals. We provide job opportunities that fit, and we treat our people with respect and fairness.