Ways to Deal with Unproductive Subordinates!



Today almost in every  job people need to cooperate with others. The most annoying part is that you don’t always get a choice about whether to spend time with that person or not. It is essential to have harmonious, cooperative and enthusiastic work environment to be able to reach productivity. Productivity goes up if people are motivated, engaged and happy. A subordinate who fails to fulfill his job duties can be infuriating and demotivating, especially if you are a dedicated employee who always gives 100 percent.

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A lazy subordinate can have a negative effect on the entire company’s operations as well as employee morale. Different conflicts or tensions in the workplace can have an adverse effect on motivation and productivity. Sometimes unproductive subordinates seem to be your life burden, but it’s not the reason to panic. There are ways to cope with such unproductive subordinates and you will have a chance to handle the situation in a short period of time.

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1. Don’t focus on negativity

“Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” If you are surrounded by unproductive subordinate, you shouldn’t focus on their negativity.  It is necessary to set boundaries and avoid unpleasant talks and conflict situations which make you absorb the bad energy of your subordinate. Don’t waste your valuable time and nerves on negativity, if you don’t want to become a negative and difficult person. However, don’t let others get you down. Listen to your intuition and if you feel uncomfortable about something, try to address it. You should show them that you know that you are someone worth treating with respect.

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2. Be kind

Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Try to be pleasant and treat your subordinate with respect. If you have a good sense of humor, you will be loved and respected by your colleagues. This tip really works and reduces tension inside your work team. Moreover, Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

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3. Keep calm

Never hate your enemies, it affects your judgment. This quote is taken from the film “The Godfather,”. By all means, you should keep calm and avoid actions and emotions which you might regret later. As a matter of fact, when you get into a tough spot, keep your voice at a normal volume and pitch it slightly lower than usual.


If you cannot keep your temper, you should try to use some breathing practices which will help your nervous system be strong enough to resist a stress.

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4. Listen

People say be a good listener but when it comes to here those pointless excuses anyone would lose patience. No doubt  it’s very difficult, but you should listen and hear your subordinates when they talk to you. Let your colleague explain their point of view. Maybe these small talks will help you find the solution of the issue. Though, long and tiresome venting of your workmate’s thoughts can make you feel tired and exhausted. 5 minutes a day will be enough. Try to be friendly and show attention to other colleagues as well. It will help you earn respect inside your team.

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5. Confront

“You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory” said J. Donald Walters. If the situation doesn’t change for better, you should use more effective ways of solving interpersonal issues. You don’t have to fight in no circumstances! Just have a private and frank discussion with them to reduce the tension. Try to be polite and show the best qualities of your character. Try to understand the position of your workmate. No one is perfect and we all have upset others inadvertently one time or another, so give your workmate a chance to know what you find difficult and to set it straight.


6. Ignore

Ignoring facts does not make them go away but when you are stuck with no way out the best way to win the battle is to avoid it and find a compromise. Unfortunately, there are situations where compromise is just not possible. The best civilized way out is to ignore them. Put some distance between you and the person who is driving you crazy. Mind your business and focus on your direct responsibilities. It will help you enjoy the day and work with a smile on your face.

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7. Ask your manager for help

This is the extra way to solve this annoying problem. If your subordinates’s behavior is interfering with your ability to do your job, you should take appropriate measures. Don’t suffer in silence. Ask your manager or a human resources representative for help. Higher authorities usually try to solve such issues, because they are interested in productive work of the company.

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These ways on how to deal with unproductive workmates will help you in a certain way. There are many life situations when nothing depends on you, but you should have control over your feelings and behavior towards difficult people. Kent M. Keith in ‘The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council’said, “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway”

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– Manal Mehboob

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