How to Be a Supportive Co-Worker
State of the Workplace
Workplaces are often ripe with competition between co-workers for promotions and pay raises. Such an environment erodes the ability of workers to function as a team, leading to subpar performances on joint projects - negatively impacting organizational outcomes. Cutthroat workplaces with lots of competition and little co-worker support are unhappy places to work.
Ways Co-Workers Sabotage Each Other
A bad co-worker does the following:
- withholds important information
- fails to respond to requests for help
- won't answer emails
- shows up late
- comes to meetings/presentations unprepared
- "forgets" to follow through on assignments
- talks about others behind their backs.
Many of the tactics that co-workers use against each other are passive aggressive and difficult to prove intent or even be sure that they are designed to sabotage. Often you may just have a feeling that a co-worker is intentionally ruining your group projects.
The effort to create more positive work environments starts with each co-worker making a commitment to become a more supportive team player.
The following are ways to be more supportive:
- share your knowledge with others
- offer to help and follow through
- ask and answer questions
- respond to all emails in a timely manner
- ask for help when you need it
- complete your assignments
- praise someone who does a good job.
You won't be able to change your workplace overnight. However, you can learn new behaviors. Supportive workplaces are happy ones. You don't have to always "watch your back" and can feel secure that everyone will do his/her part on a group project.