If jobs were like lemons —constantly bitter – would you add sugar or throw it away?
I was having a weekday cocktail and catch-up with a few friends and one of them expressed her disgust with her place of work (NOT the job) but the environment. She went on to explain unacceptable behaviours in the workplace. The discussion went with her giving real scenarios that are turn-offs and we even joked about similar situations.
What’s your attitude towards work, more specifically, towards your current position? Is it customary to have a good work ethic yet hate your current job? Are you satisfied with your current job? What would you change?
Many people spend the first the first 8 to 9 hours sometimes, 12 hours of their time at work. For some, the workplace is home away from home whilst for others, it’s a dungeon – dog eat dog atmosphere. A constant fight for power and recognition. Do you know that your workplace is where you build long-term relationships, raise your children, get your first birthday party, get punked and even meet your soul mate? I met one of my closest friends at work and we have been friends for years.
Your workplace should be a place of solitude – it might occasionally have stressful days which go without saying. But, who wants to work in a mundane, unexcited place? It should neither be daunting nor tense.
Intuitively, your place of work ought to contribute positively towards your personal and professional development. If it does not – it is time to move on.
I have worked at six different entities both private and public sector and based on my observation, I would subjectively say that a lot of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. Some common factors which contribute towards this includes; remuneration package, shift time, standard operating procedure, organisational culture, reward system (or lack thereof), unfairness in performance measures and attitude of the human resource
Ultimately, people may also have a negative attitude towards work based on how management responds to their issues. I was in management at two establishments and I understand clearly. If employees are not treated well they will have a poor work ethic. There is a saying that people do not work for the organization, they work for their supervisors and/or managers. I can attest to this.
On the contrary, the culture in your workplace and your level of satisfaction at work is a combination of your attitude towards work and management behaviour.
We do not see it but it is amazing how we could be the contributing factor to our unpleasant work environment.
You’d not believe me when I tell you how simple alterations in behaviours can help. Here are six (6) workplace behaviours you can practice that will definitely improve your work environment and thus boost your satisfaction:
1. Develop a positive work attitude: This includes, improving efficiency, timeliness and attitude. Perhaps you can get more work done and go the extra mile to exceed the expectation of your employer. Help others who might be overloaded instead of saying there is not much to be done. Be that “cheerful giver.” The killer – think of how much time you waste on cell-phones and social media during working hours. Try to disconnect for some time and get shit done. Smile more, and not every dissatisfaction deserves a facial expression. The entire office does not need to know when you are upset about a situation. You cannot control everything that happens but rather reacts differently. Arrive at work at least 15 – 30 minutes earlier. I try to go work for 7:30 most days and getting out of bed is the first struggle but once I’m up I am on a roll. This gives me time to settle at my desk, give thanks, eat and then start work at 8 a.m. You will develop a level of appreciation when you start to arrive work earlier, accomplish more and impact others positively. You will have a clear mind and a much more comfortable environment. Try it out and let me know.
2. Separating personal from professional: Your workplace is not the place to discuss how often you and your boyfriend have sex and your weekend routine or even your past escapades. Neither is it appropriate to discuss other people’s private lives. Nope! I have worked many places – so trust me when I tell you, I have seen and heard a lot of derogatory information that just should not be discussed at work. Your colleagues look at you differently when they know too many personal details about your life. Also, a common thread is persons coming to work in a “bad mood” which is caused by external factors then exerting the negative energy on others. Learn to separate the two.
3. Stop the bullying: Have you worked in a place where colleagues are overly aggressive? If you are the bully, please stop it. Do you make passive aggressive comments to your colleagues about their mistakes? If you do, then try a different approach. Instead of criticizing, sit with them (no matter your equal or subordinate) and provide tips to improve. Chances are, your rowdy belittling comments can affect their self-confidence. Take the opportunity to help first before you chastise.
4. Stop complaining: Urghhh…when are they going to fix that stupid printer? Sounds familiar? Printer faults are common – but why hurt the trees. Save paper and read from your PC when necessary…lol. I’m kidding of course. Equipment will fail, and you cannot do anything about it then just wait. Help make recommendations for the most suitable printer for your office space or other necessities to make your work easier. If supplies are not received on time, we complain. Complaining does not solve anything. Think of a solution to the issue rather than highlighting all that is going wrong.
5. Get rid of the “know it all attitude”: Yeah, what I say is always right. We’ve all met this narcissistic colleague. He/She knows everything and is not afraid to let the world know. Nothing is wrong with being a smart mouth but gloating among others will most likely attract more negative reactions than positive ones. Nobody likes to be shown off on or to always be in a competition. If you are knowledgeable, help others to improve themselves without appearing boastful. If you are constantly seeking attention for this, you will get more enemies because the slower ones may feel left out. We all have different capabilities but it is never pleasant to prove that you have an asset that the others don’t have.
6. Calling Sick when you’re not: The labour laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica states that each employee is entitled to two sick days a month. This does not mean that you have to take two days at home monthly. It also does not mean you are entitled to it. What is means is that if you get ill on one day, you are allowed to stay home for two consecutive days without submitting a sick-leave form.
If you are guilty of spitefully calling in sick when you are not is quite insidious. If you are unethical then doing this will not affect your conscience but if you care about your job, I encourage you to stop this behaviour. I know too many people who abuse it.
Need help in improving your work environment? Contact me for one-on-one coaching sessions.
Do have additional tips to improve your work environment? Leave a comment below.