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Workplace Issues - What Workers Can Do to Improve Their Workplace

Updated on June 21, 2013


WRITE AND WORK 85 by Chrisharvey
WRITE AND WORK 85 by Chrisharvey | Source

What Workers can do to Improve their Workplace

Employers can provide a beautifully appointed workplace, and treat workers respectfully and considerately, but the workplace may still not work properly. It is wrong to blame all workplace ills on the management, workers, too, must play their part in making the workplace a happy productive place. Sometimes the reason for workers’ unhappiness comes, not from their employer, but from within the workforce, rather than the workplace. Unhappy workers are insecure, doubtful of their abilities and capabilities, and thus less productive. Workers have no control over many issues and problems at work but there are things that they can do to create a better, happier, workplace.

Workers do not choose the people with whom they must work, and may often work with people with whom they would not normally choose to spend time. It is part of behaving professionally to treat colleagues and workmates with good manners, respect, tolerance, and consideration, and doing so at work raises behavioural standards in the workplace helping towards a pleasant, collegiate atmosphere.

When workers treat one another properly, they lessen the likelihood of bad behaviour, bullying, sexism, or racism. Employers can institute workplace policies, but there is nothing like peer disapproval to stop such behaviour immediately it begins. When teasing or jokes, begin to step into bullying, or unkindness, it is usually sufficient to stop such behaviour escalating. Of course, all workers should know, understand and act upon company policies, recording, and reporting any relevant incidences when necessary.

Malicious gossip is a corrosive poison that abounds in many workplaces. It destroys reputations, lives, and careers, but it not only hurts the subjects of the gossip, it hurts both those who gossip and those who listen to the gossip, poisoning their characters, personalities, and dispositions. Natural and normal friendly interest can easily turn into nasty gossip, if allowed to do so. People slip easily into lax habits, workers who do not indulge in sensational, salacious gossip and discourage others from doing so too, help to create a pleasant collegiate atmosphere in the workplace. Gossip divides the workplace into two camps the gossips and those that they gossip about, instead of a cohesive team achieving together what no one person can do alone. One person can stop a gossip habit in a workplace, workmates often hate what is happening, but they are unsure what to do about it, one person’s example can show the way.

Some workers hoard information that would be useful to other team members. Colleagues discussing a problem or procedural difficulty over coffee can solve it. Redesigning the message pad, to make it easier and more intuitive to use, informally, and then going to the manager, with both problem and a solution that suits everyone, who will have to use it, will win the team kudos. Pointing up a problem is negative, whereas finding a problem, negotiating amongst the team, finding a solution that works, and presenting them to management for further action is a positive act, bringing praise for team and manager.

A supportive environment in the workplace makes it a more pleasant place for everyone and fosters a collegiate atmosphere. Sometimes it is a little thing that supports colleagues. It can be as simple as updating the team’s information regularly or making sure that when you discover that information has changed, updating this in the team’s files.

New employees often find entering a long established team very difficult. In Long established teams, members are used to one another’s working methods, know how to work together and do so like a well-oiled machine without communication. Team members should be aware that what seems so natural to them is baffling to the new person, and that they will ask endless questions, which may seem irritating. Team members need to be ready to anticipate the questions, remembering that a new member might to be too scared to ask, and to give extra help to new workers to help them settle into the team. It is everyone’s job to help new team members, ensuring that they become as productive and useful as more established workers.

Workers should also always watch their own behaviour, taking care not to irritate their colleagues. Consideration for one’s colleagues is part of being a good team member.

Managers can do much to make a workplace pleasant but workers can play a huge role in creating the pleasant, collegiate, and happy workplace. They can do this by treating one another considerately, supporting colleagues, and forestalling bad behaviour. These actions, along with observing company policy and procedures, improve both workplace and team, ensuring a cohesive team that reaches and exceeds its goals.


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