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Issues at Work? How You Can Bring Change in the Workplace

Updated on August 7, 2011

Things aren’t working out so well for you at the office. Your work performance isn’t what it should be. You aren’t connecting with the other employees. Changes need to be made. You aren’t happy. You aren’t satisfied. You’re ready to call it quits. Why? What’s going on that’s causing these frustrations? What is it that’s really at the heart of the matter?

When changes need to be made, look to your own self first. Search your heart for the deep imbedded issues. Why are you really upset? Are you not getting the recognition you deserve? Are you having trouble respecting your peers and your superiors? Or is there something really going on that needs to change? If a change really needs to be made, is it important enough to take the steps and be a catalyst for that change? Those questions need to be asked once you realize there is a problem, and you are the only one with the answers.

Let’s say that the root of the problem is the lack of professionalism among the other employees. Off-color jokes, inappropriate language, and tasteless e-mails abound. You see this as irritating, distracting, and wasteful. Deep down you realize that it’s the cause of your own poor work performance. If the others spend their time like this, then why should you be the one doing all the work? If your peers and employers don’t deserve your respect, then why should they be given your best?

The longer this continues, the worse the situation becomes. While you realize that a change must be made, or you will find yourself out of a job, you really don’t know what to do to change anything. You aren’t the one in charge. You’re at the bottom of the org chart. No one reports to you. How can you make a difference?

How can someone who is not in charge be the catalyst for change? How can an everyday employee promote a higher quality of professionalism when they have no authority? What avenues are available to the men and women who work with and for those who do not possess good work etiquette? Change usually does come from the top down. The leadership of the organization has the responsibility to set the tone their employees. However, anyone, no matter what position they have, can bring about positive change.

If you find yourself asking these types of questions, please know that there is hope. There are steps that you can take to bring about positive improvements. You can be a catalyst for change in the workplace!

The first thing to do is to speak up. Do you have a mentor can trust to share your frustrations with? Someone who can walk you through these issues and help you to either accept the other employees as they were, confront one of two of them individually, or perhaps intervene himself and discuss the problem with the others. Either way, sharing your concerns with a trusted individual will help you process the issue and equip you with the skills necessary to deal with the concerns.

If you do not have a specific mentor assigned, look around for a trusted friend that you can confide in. Is there someone in the office who understands the culture of the workplace yet will listen to you with an open mind and keep your conversation confidential? Talk to them and look for solutions. By keeping frustrations to yourself, you will only allow the problem to escalate. Instead of bringing a solution to the problem, by keeping quiet, you actually seemed to condone the conduct.

After you talk through the problem with your mentor, if you still feel strongly about the change, then it’s time to take the issue to your supervisor. Once you bring this to your supervisor’s attention, he is then responsible to take the matter into his own hands. He cannot make the change if he doesn’t know that there is a problem. Sometimes, he may even be part of the problem. Yet if he doesn’t know how his behavior and the behavior of the others are affecting you personally and professionally, then there is nothing for him to change.

Everyone, no matter their level of authority, has the ability and the responsibility to bring solutions to the problems at hand. Instead of being a part of the problem, be a part of the solution. Don’t keep your frustrations to yourself. Look for ways to make changes in your own work and your own circle of influence. Set the example. You can be the catalyst for change.


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  • Neil Sperling profile image

    Neil Sperling 7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

    Good points. Start with self is a must.... and if management is not fitting your style and you can not influence change - time to move on!


  • lisabeaman profile image

    lisabeaman 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Yes, having a mentor at work is a great thing, and unfortunatly, not very common. There are also times when change is impossible, especially if your immediate boss isn't concernt with workplace etiquette. I think those are the times when you have to search your heart for what's important. If you feel very stongly about something and don't see any changes, it may be time to move on.

  • Anamika S profile image

    Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

    Having a mentor at Office whom you can trust is a great thing. But when your immediate Boss is also not much concerned about the work place etiquette then things can be hard for those who are disciplined. I have been in a similar situation myself.