You’ve heard the idea before: “Today’s workers just don’t know how good they’ve got it.” This sentiment has been felt by most generations on one level or another. However, it’s difficult to know if today’s workers are truly less productive and more demanding. And because the workplace changes so rapidly these days, it’s hard to make a fair comparison.
One thing that seems to remain constant, however, is that most workplaces have a mix of solid, productive, and reliable employees alongside those who – for lack of a kinder term – could use a few lessons in a good old-fashioned work ethic.
From workers who refuse to communicate until the situation is beyond urgent to those who gush ten-page emails multiple times a day, the workforce is filled with people who just may not understand how and when to communicate. Successful communication requires the sender and receiver to understand the message being sent.
Bad timing, self-centered rambling, and constantly interjecting when someone else is speaking can make the office seem like a living hell. Communication skills can be taught, however. Here are a few concepts that are essential.
Some office workers are worse than a teamster on a Hollywood movie set. Whatever you ask them to do, the task never seems to fall within their job description. These people are also likely to appeal to rules to avoid work they find distasteful or when they simply don’t want to be responsible.
While defining specific roles and delegations are essential to a healthy workflow and reduced drama, workers should learn to be flexible. Running a business is a group effort. Typically, supervisors are already doing many things that are outside their job descriptions, and don’t have time to micromanage these additional details. Build a system that rewards initiative through the following steps.
Some workers seem to think that unprofessional behavior is the new black. If there’s an unspoken rule, they are the first to break it. They tend to be unreliable and don’t seem to understand the importance of personal credibility as an essential prerequisite for moving ahead in corporate culture.
Now more than ever, your personal brand is much more than just a resume. From appropriate dress, to learning office etiquette, to learning to speak and to act as best fits the occasion, managers are looking for people they can rely on to carry the company name. Here are some ways to counteract unprofessional behavior.
Some people seem to do everything they can to avoid becoming integrated into any more of your company than necessary to keep their jobs. These workers tend to express themselves negatively and often set people at odds with each other. They relish in drama and see themselves as mavericks or lone wolves.
If team players are what build a strong company, non-joiners can become one of the biggest threats to that team. The leaders of any organization prize a firm foundation and should recognize employee efforts to build a solid team. If this recognition means little to someone who wants to be on the outside, encourage them to become more integrated through the following steps.
Problem workers will take as much time and energy as you are willing to give them. You can minimize their impact, however, by heading them off before they become a problem with an inclusive and nurturing culture. This will give workers the tools to be the best they can be.