How Do You Handle a Team Member Who Doesn't Pull Their Weight?

Published on 31/05/2022

For a team to work together well and for everyone to get along, everyone needs to do their equal share of the work. If you have one team member who seems to get away with doing less than everyone else, or someone who always ends up with the easier tasks, resentment is soon going to start bubbling away, ready to erupt. 

There are so many benefits of teamwork that it’s important to make sure that you protect and preserve your team as much as you possibly can. For positive psychology in the workplace, everyone needs to be happy and that’s not going to be the case if you have a member of staff, or maybe more, that seems intent on doing the very minimum and allowing everyone else to do more. 

So, how do you handle it?

It’s a tricky situation and it really depends on the severity. As a manager, you can control the situation to some extent by delegating appropriately. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to gently pull the employee to one side and remind them that everyone needs to do their fair share. 

It’s a difficult conversation and you need to approach it with caution. It may be that the individual simply isn’t aware of what they’re doing. Or, they may take a very defensive stance and become argumentative. That’s why it’s important for managers to undergo conflict resolution training. While this may not be an argument between two members of staff, the same kind of resolution techniques will get to the bottom of it and solve the issue for everyone concerned. 

After that point, it’s important to keep an eye on the situation and see if any change is occurring. If so, that’s fine. You’ve solved the problem. But, if there is no change or if things slowly go back to the way they were before, you need to follow up and perhaps intensify the seriousness of the situation. 

The whole future happiness of the team depends upon everyone working to the same level. You can’t have someone not doing their fair share because that’s going to put extra pressure on everyone else. When left to fester, you may have a team revolt on your hands. 

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