Having two colleagues approach me within just one short week for advice on the very same topic, I thought it worthwhile for The Citizen to revisit the topic of workplace slacking, one of those tricky management subjects that looks very simple on the outside - yet peel away the organic, free-range onion just a bit and then suddenly... not so.
Receiving an article from one of them today, "Don't let slackers bring your team down" by Scott Ball, I congratulated my friend on taking the initiative to at least Google the issue and try to find a solution, even more so because he isn't the Estate Manager, yet of co-worker status and he must both co-work and co-exist peacefully within this environment, no doubt as millions of other workers across all industries are experiencing daily - at least to some degree - and at least within their own minds of what slacking really is, or isn't.
Although the article is well-meaning, I gently suggested it's solutions are a bit too simpleton to really hit the nail and I encouraged him to dig deeper than what is suggested there, to not just look at the lazy behavior of his nemesis co-worker, yet to try and place himself in this person's shoes and also look carefully at what may have brought about the end result. It may possibly be in the worker's own nature to be a lazy bum, yet it also may be - and I think this is more likely - the result of a dysfunctional nurtured environment, one which throws fertilizer not only on slacking, yet all sorts of bizarre behaviors as the worker attempts to create a balance of sorts between what he feels is fair, and the unfair treatment - even if it's only in his mind - perceived to be thrust upon him. Regardless of where on the nature/nurture spectrum these incidents are falling, I believe, based on what he has reported, the issue will not be as simple as pointing the damning finger at his co-worker, because if that were the case... wouldn't it have already been resolved, long ago?
Anywho, here's the four suggestions in the article now copied/pasted below in bold print, which I have added my own humble comments to what may really be going on within a domestic staff team where one or more staff members isn't pulling weight - that either of their own, or the team's: