You will spend more waking hours on the job than you will with family and friends.
In the unsettled economy of the last five years, the workplace has at times become a tense place for employers and employees. Discrimination and harassment cases remain at heightened levels, with close to 100,000 new complaints with the EEOC each of the last three years.
Various state legislators are striving to pass healthy workplace laws to protect people from harassment/bullying who are not afforded protections under the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964.
With all of this strife, how can we get back to loving the thing we do?
How do we create and maintain a healthy workplace as an individual? Dr. Leah Hollis of Patricia Berkly LLC offers a few strategies to help you fall in love again with the job.
- Know the employee manual. So often employees simply sign off on the employee manual without reading it. Each company has a different set of policies regarding sick time, lunch, harassment, retaliation or even payroll. Know the rules of your organization and follow them.
- Don’t be a bad actor. Even if you have a case of harassment, discrimination or bullying, the minute you stoop to the level of the bully or harasser you have become a “bad actor.” The bad actor is categorized as being a ‘hot head,’ unreliable, or simply a colleague who is not behaving in a manner that the organization can support. Just because someone else is acting out, it is not an invitation to drop the “f- bomb” as well. Bad actors seldom prosper.
- Do your job. The reason we are all on the job is to produce for the employer. Excessive undocumented time off, constant mistakes, fraud, favoritism and other performance issues can be grounds for action. If there is a group of similarly situated employees who have performance issues, and they are treated differently in response to the same infractions, there can be a legal issue for the employer. However, doing the job well and being an excellent performer strengthens anyone’s credibility.
- Know the structure of your organization. Be sure to make connections from the janitor all the way through to the vice president. People should know you and your strengths before there is a problem. And, you should know how to seek reliable information.
- Stay positive. No one wants to work with “Negative Nelly.” Stay positive without barking orders, acting out or demeaning people. Again likeability across the organization is key. Such positive energy can help you stay focused on your options and also bring you support in the midst of tough transitions. Grandma was right; you get more flies with honey than vinegar.
These strategies can help an individual employee protect themselves from unwitting mistakes or see changes that can make someone uneasy. Being a reliable strong performer with a good attitude can make the difference between being targeted at work and loving the job.