Help! My Colleague Is Incompetent
When people are working hard to produce quality work, it can be demoralizing to have an incompetent co-worker. Why should this person be pulling in a paycheck when she lacks the ability or drive to do her job correctly? Worse yet, perhaps her inadequacies are causing hardships for others as they scramble to fix her mistakes or pick up the slack.
To deal with such a person, experts generally recommend examining how her behavior affects you. If what she does is annoying but has little bearing on your job, it may be best to mind your own business. Let those in charge deal with the problem, and spare yourself from looking like the office snitch.
If, however, your performance or reputation is suffering because of her actions, it may be time to take action. You do not want to be penalized for missing deadlines because she can’t give you her material at the agreed-upon time, nor do you want to be judged by clients based on error-filled correspondence she drafts for the team.
While it may be tempting to storm into the boss’s office demanding that he deal with this incompetent hire, a less emotional confrontation will help you maintain professionalism and be taken seriously. Privately, state the problem as factually as possible, and refrain from judgment. Focus on specific situations and the natural outcome in order to come across as someone addressing a work problem rather than trying to get someone else in trouble. Documenting the instances in writing over a period of time can add substance to your discussion and show that you aren’t merely reacting to a one-time error.