You’ve been working at your job for a while and you are pretty good at it.
No, let’s correct that. You are really good at it.
Then you get a new coworker – but there is a problem:
Your newest coworker is not as productive as you!
What do you do? What steps can you take?
We’ll discuss that below.
Check your mentality
First, make sure you have the right mentality.
Are you wanting them to get better because you are afraid it will make you look bad? Are you afraid it might pull you and your team down?
Or are you genuinely concerned about the person and want to help them succeed?
And/or are you concerned about the mission of your company and your goals making sure you can reach it the best?
Are you concerned about the possibility that someone may have the wrong motives or abilities or be in the wrong seat?
Make sure you have the right mentality before you start – the good of the person and your mission, not just yourself.
Look at why they are not as productive
Next, look at why your newest coworker may not be as productive.
There are quite a few reasons someone may be performing as less awesome as you that don’t have to do with laziness or lack of ability. Here are some possibilities:
They are new and haven’t learned the ropes or the ends and outs as you have.
- Different process
They use a different process to accomplish the work than you do, and that might be slowing them down.
There’s a bottleneck in their work. It could be a skill they are lacking or maybe something down the line holding them up.
They are lazy and just don’t want to put in the effort.
- Their current pace
That’s just their current pace. Maybe they haven’t worked at a higher pace before or it’s just the pace where they are at in the learning process.
- Going through something personal
Maybe they are going through something at home – such as a death in the family or financial issues or something else – and it’s affecting their work.
- They are in the wrong seat
Maybe they were put in the wrong position. It’s not a good fit, and they might flourish in a different one.
- No one can live up to your awesomeness
Maybe you are so awesome in your work, it’s such a perfect fit for you and your experience, that others just have a hard time keeping up with you.
Granted, you may not be able to dive deep into what they are doing in your current position, but if nothing else, it’s good to be aware of the different possibilities. And there are a few things you could do as their wonderfully awesome coworker to help them.
How to help coworker become more productive
One of the first steps you can take to help your coworker is to talk to them! Make sure you have the conversation going. Build that relationship.
Let them know you are there to help them in their new position.
Ask them if they are struggling with anything or have any questions. You could offer to stop by every couple of days to check and help in any way you can.
If you have built a road of helpfulness and communication, if they still seem to be struggling with something, talk to them about it.
“Hey, I noticed you seemed to be having a harder time with X” and offer to help or guide them, depending on how they answer.
You may also come to them as one trying to help them up – “Hey, I wanted to show you how we do these kinds of reports…”. If there are templates or such, you could offer those.
You can model good practices and show appreciation and recognize them when they do well.
If they are lacking a skill, you could suggest resources that could help them learn it.
If the person is new or just needs help (and is humble about it and you’ve come across the right way), they are likely to welcome the help.
If they aren’t, it may take more time to build up that relationship. But if they still aren’t willing or the stakes or high, you may need to share your concerns with your manager.
Talk with your manager
Granted, though it depends on your manager, he or she likely already knows that your coworker is struggling (and they likely know you’ve been working with them to help them – but maybe not).
Share your concerns. Use facts instead of opinions. If possible, offer solutions.
You could even suggest giving that person a mentor and offering to mentor them (or suggest someone who would be really good at it).
Make sure you come to your manager with the right motives – to help the person and the team out. You are more likely to convince your manager if you come with sincere concern and want to help.
If you come just complaining about your coworker, there’s a good chance the encounter could reflect poorly on you.
If your newest coworker is not as productive as you…
In summary, if your coworker is not as productive as you, make sure you have the right mentality, understand why they are not as productive, and do what you can to support and help them.
If you need to, go to your manager about it, but go with the mentality to help, offering solutions if possible, not just complain.
I hope this helps!
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(If you are a manager, check out the article: How To Effectively Handle An Underperforming Employee)