CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


By Shannon Jackson
Special to The Toronto Sun

Q:I have a co-worker who is simply not pulling their weight at work. I don't want to bother my manager with pettiness, but it is really frustrating me. Any ideas?

A:Deciding to talk to your manager about a co-worker's performance is treading in dangerous water. Even if your concerns are completely justified, escalating to management may create a negative perception of you if it is not done carefully.

First, evaluate whether or not this individual's lack of productivity affects your ability to perform the duties of your job. If your impression of your co-worker's effectiveness frustrates you, but does not negatively impact the performance of you or your team, you may need to "let it go."
Send your job-related questions to Diane Janes at, or mail to Career Connections, The Toronto Sun, 333 King St. E., 4th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5A 3X5

If, however, their work habits are jeopardizing your effectiveness, it needs to be addressed.

First, speak to the source. Approach your co-worker, with specific examples of how they have negatively affected your ability to get the job done, and ask if there is anything that you can do to support them in ensuring that it won't happen again.

If the issue continues, approach your manager. Keep your conversation focussed on your productivity and the company goals. Share that you have already spoken with the individual, and that the problem has not been resolved. Ask for coaching to better manage the situation. This will let your manager know what is happening, providing the opportunity for direct intervention, without giving the impression that you are complaining or "telling on" a co-worker.

(Shannon Jackson is the national recruitment manager for Manpower Services Inc.

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