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Background

I'm a fairly stereotypical software developer. Decent technical skills, but sorely lacking in soft-skills (which I am actively working on). I recently found myself in a position where I was prepared to accept a job offer from a new company, but after an extended discussion with HR at my current company, I renegotiated my position and have since decided to stay on. Part of that discussion included a challenging/degraded relationship with one of my fellow team members. During the discussion with HR, I highlighted this as one of the major factors motivating my move away from the company and it was hinted to me that it would be worth my time to wait 24 hours before taking the job offer any further. Sure enough, the next morning, it was announced that the colleague in question had given notice and would be departing from the company (HR obviously already knew, but couldn't tell me directly), subsequently I declined the other offer and committed to stay with my current company

Context

I'll preface this by saying this is only from my own observation, but I do sit directly next to them. During a 0700-1530 working day, I would estimate my colleague spends no more than 60% of the day at their desk. They frequently are absent from their desk and when they are present, they are often gazing out the window or not interacting with their PC in a way one would expect a developer to. During the previous few months, they have taken weeks of time to complete tasks which should take a few days and often the task is not even functionally complete. I previously wrote this off as them having "checked out" knowing they would be resigning, but I still find it immensely disrespectful.

Additionally, when I first joined the team, he made some incredibly rude comments to me, as well as being generally negative/pessimistic during discussions. Also, while not relevant to the current question, he has some annoying personal habits which I have worked around by constantly wearing headphones while he is at his desk

The Situation

It has just been announced that the colleague in question has revoked their resignation, a mere 2 days before the end of their notice period (which is 4 weeks) and will be staying on not only with the company, but in the same team as me. While I would value any advice on how to handle this from a soft-skills perspective, I appreciate that heads in the "question with opinion-based answers" direction, so I'll summarise the main questions I have:

  • Given that I renegotiated my staying in the same team on the premise the colleague would be leaving (it's not in writing though), how do I bring this up in a constructive way with HR? (and/or my manager)
  • As someone striving to reach a senior development position, should I attempt to motivate them and rebuild relationships in the team, or leave that to my manager to worry about?
  • What's the best strategy for managing frustration at an unproductive colleague?
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    What is your actual problem with this colleague? Did you guys get into a fight or you just have a problem with someone gazing out the window and not completing their tasks (even though you are not their manager)? – PagMax Dec 19 '19 at 23:15
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    A few reasons; he made some incredibly rude comments to me when I first joined the team, he tends to be very negative/pessimistic during discussions, he doesn't pull his weight (as mentioned) and he has some rather annoying habits (which are irrelevant to my question and solved by me wearing headphones when he is at his desk) – Dmihawk Dec 19 '19 at 23:43
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    I think some of the information you mentioned in the comment should go in the question...If he is rude and negative in general, then this is slightly different problem to solve than what your question indicates. – PagMax Dec 20 '19 at 0:13
  • I actually did not know you could revoke a resignation. Did HR have to agree with the revoke? In that case apparently they prefer to keep him. – user180146 Dec 20 '19 at 8:51
  • Neither did I, which is why it came as a surprise. He had already accepted an offer with a different company, so I'm not sure how that would have worked either – Dmihawk Dec 20 '19 at 21:56
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Given that I renegotiated my staying in the same team on the premise the colleague would be leaving (it's not in writing though), how do I bring this up in a constructive way with HR? (and/or my manager)

You do not. HR cannot (and should not have to) do anything about it. You can either request a role in different team by talking to your manager or you can find another job, give your notice and then explain to HR reasons for your action.

As someone striving to reach a senior development position, should I attempt to motivate them and rebuild relationships in the team, or leave that to my manager to worry about?

You want to quit because your colleague is unproductive. I think it is you who needs to rebuild relationships in the team than your colleague. If working with the team is a parameter for your promotion to senior developer, then stop holding grudge against people who are gazing out the window. As for the colleague's own performance, definitely let your manager worry about it.

What's the best strategy for managing frustration at an unproductive colleague?

If it is slowing down your own productivity, then discuss with your manager on you having tasks which are independent of his or better yet help your team member to learn to be "productive" as per your standards. Either ways, you need to stop being frustrated and treat this only as work. You do your best, make sure your team and manager know you are doing your best, and let go of things which are not in your control.

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    OP could use the "promise" of HR that his colleague was leaving in the negotiations to move to a new team. – user180146 Dec 20 '19 at 8:49
  • There isn't a different team for me to be able to move into – Dmihawk Dec 20 '19 at 21:58

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