Thursday

Workplace Programming- When the Job Means More than God


On Building Workplace Relationships: Personal Experience


Holiday Celebrating and Work

While the boss is away the cats will play especially when it is a holiday!  I can't tell you how many workplaces I have been in where people boldly acted in ways they know that if the boss was around they would be busy working.  But oh no, not some employees!  The Internet surfing increases, email is overlooked, personal copies are made, and personal phone calls are lengthy.  all the holiday excitement has made the workplace lax--too lax! 

Now if the boss is on site, during holidays, the more it seems people "need" certain days off.  "It's my anniversary on that day...I can't be here, my kids are going to be in this play...It is a tradition of my family to celebrate..."  That sounds nice, but work still needs to get done. 

I recall a boss handling the holiday celebrations something like this, he didn't celebrate, consecrate, or congregate.  Get it?  So consider the following:

Don't mix business with pleasure especially when your company is the type that demands high performance. 

As a boss, if you give an inch, you best believe there will always be those employees that will take a mile!  End the decorating, office parties and other personal celebrations at work when you know job performance is slacking, profits are down, and you are ready to fire someone.  For those employees who just love holiday celebrating, meet up after work if you must.  You don't want to be that one called in the office over an issue only for your boss to say, "...and by the way if the employees weren't distracted by your event, none of this would have happened!" 

Also, consider this, there is probably one or two at the workplace who have some hidden resentment about how you or someone else acknowledged this employee's baby being born and not that one, this employee's cubical was decorated for his birthday and not that one...You know how people can be.  If everyone can't be acknowledged because of money, time, etc. then why do it?

Days off mean work isn't getting done, but you still want your personal time. 

If someone requests a day off, find out what work is already being done what still needs to be done and who will be handling his or her workload while that employee is out.  This way you can put your days in without the schedule conflict of, "Who is going to be here and who isn't and why are you both out on the same day?" coming from the boss.  However, if you are the unlucky one to take over while your boss or co-worker is out, then consider this, be sure to schedule time off during the time he or she returns--don't talk yourself out of it.  Unfortunately, some employees can act selfishly assuming that hard workers never need time off and they will just pick up the slack.  Be sure to have your work completed and needed assistance while you are out. 

As for bosses, who have employees needing some time off, try to accommodate by having others help out with tasks, but if this can't be done, those with tenure typically get first pick.  However, it is in your power to circulate holidays fairly.  For instance, if a certain employee always gets his or her request, you may want to arrange the schedule so that others can get those days off sometimes too.  Check with employees maybe some are okay with the vacation schedule while others are not.

Avoid revealing too much about your holiday celebrating.

Valuable work time gets eaten up because so many leaders and workers want to share stories about their holiday experiences especially in the morning when it is already a challenge for some employees to focus and get work done quickly.  Reserve the story-telling for lunch and after work when you see that tasks simply aren't getting done. 

If you know that you work in an atmosphere with back-stabbers, liars, snitches, and the like, don't provide too many personal details when speaking about your festivities.  You don't know who you might be offending or what these people might post on the Internet or say to others about you.  I recall when someone was sharing information about a gay mixer she had at her home, needless to say, there were many who already didn't like the trouble-making employee, so she didn't make matters any better for herself when she shared some tidbits about her guests.  Other employees liked to share information about their weekends in the bathroom, not knowing, who was using the stalls.  It was only a matter of time that personal stories circulated. 

Do think about those leaders and workers who may or may not celebrate holidays and how what you do and say might negatively impact them. It is best to keep personal celebrating to a minimum at work and elsewhere.  Keep in mind wherever you go, whether on or offline, you represent your company.  Think about the many workers who have been fired from their jobs as a result of not knowing where to draw the line.  Also, don't post photos of your holiday events especially if you know you have done any of the following: lied so you could get a day off, did something shameful at the event, wore company attire while you did wild acts, or borrowed or stole company equipment for use at your celebration (ie. weddings, baby showers...)

Happy celebrating!





Sunday

What Every Manager/Business Owner/Employee Can Learn from Disgruntled Ex-Cop

A mean-spirited man hell-bent on killing people decides that he is going to pay back those who failed him at his place of employment.  We saw the movies, read the news, had our own personal concerns on the job, and heard some angry relatives and friends complain about a boss, employee, contractor, or someone else wronging them at their workplaces.  But rarely does anyone really think too much about the prideful statements, hateful comments and even threats one makes about workers at the job.

Some people are very good about hiding their personal opinion when it comes to a certain ethnicity, gender, and workplace issue they don't agree with.  But others, not so much.  As a result, workplace operations is disrupted over some workers having no self-control over their tongues.  What's worse, there are leaders all across America who don't mind deviating from policies, manuals, and other company related material, not to better the collective, but to suit one's selfish ideas, desires, and those who they might favor.  Meanwhile the good employee, who plays by the book, will either quietly or boldly react while an unfair, negative, demeaning, or evil scenario plays out that may or may not directly affect him or her, but in their minds they constantly think, "Something must be done!"

Now let us take a look at this former law enforcement officer, Christopher Jordan Dorner, for a moment.  (His manifesto is attached to his name).  Someone who seemed to have a great career, intelligent, and loved his country at one time, which is inferred from his manifesto, yet an enraged man who wanted nothing more than to take revenge on those who failed him.  But why not handle matters professionally assuming that he did kill the couple and write the manifesto?  (He hasn't been tried yet at the time of this writing.)

According to Dorner's manifesto,  "I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences. The LAPD’s actions have cost me my law enforcement career that began on 2/7/05 and ended on 1/2/09. They cost me my Naval career which started on 4/02 and ends on 2/13."
 
The system had failed him in his opinion.  Here was a man who drove himself mad trying to play by the book.  There are many examples in the manifesto where he was that tattle-tale or whistleblower, so to speak.  So when management didn't follow protocol, Dorner took matters in his own hands!

My question to you is, do you have a fellow co-worker, employee, counselor, client, supervisor, or assistant who plays by the book that you might have let down?  Are you the worker that might feel slighted by management?  Think on this for awhile.  Because chances are, there is something on the inside of you or someone you know that is festering.  Some of those negative emotions may be playing themselves out in the following: under performance (like work not getting done in a timely fashion), so-called jokes made about you or others, frequent tardiness, fake illnesses, failure to get along with fellow workers, stealing, lying, and more.

Many companies have a variety of awareness programs, but what about having one that teaches employees how to recognize a disgruntled employee?  A good worker, who simply feels angered about things like:  his complaint being overlooked, unappreciated, or not properly dealt with, according to the company's protocol, might not be a future problem for you and your group if management follows-up, investigates matters, follows policies, or adds better ones, and stays out of the "the club" or "clique." 

You may have your favorites and may have taken an oath with a certain organization, but doesn't integrity and fairness mean anything?  Your Right Hand Man may one day be your foe, because he or she notices that you don't play by the rules unless it suits you, then what?  In the case of Dorner, he called people out and yet they still didn't listen even with proof.   

Working to achieve a common goal is different from looking the other way when a worker is doing wrong.  If you are that team player, meaning helping make the company a success not covering up misdeeds, yet the group decides that they want to do some things that undermine the community that they serve while deceiving management, it is your responsibility to report what you observe to the necessary authorities.  Dorner listed many people in his writing that simply lacked standards, didn't want to address issues, etc.  Management shouldn't treat their good workers like snitches while making others think they are bad for business for wanting to do right.   

There are those workers who believe that being a team player means one is nothing more than a snitch, a tattle-tail, big mouth, and other words not so nice.  Like a child who repeatedly tells a parent about a sibling hitting them, the worker wants justice!

So after reading the Dorner's manifesto, you might want to think about the following points for your establishment when teaching/advising/reprimanding:

One.  When information is released by a company about what changes have been made, and you don't see any changes or they are no benefit to workers, you make mention in writing.  You talk to others to get their feedback.  If they simply aren't willing to work with you, you don't keep giving them your service, you look for another job.  If you don't deal with the issue that keeps showing up, feelings of resentment, bitterness, rage, and more will start to take root.  Before long, all you will keep thinking about in your mind is how much you hate this person and how you want to pay this one and that one back as well as what else can you do to make these people see the light.  Save your energy for a company who will listen! 

Two.  You may find that someone is purposely spreading incorrect information about you.  They may go so far as to make your office space uncomfortable with all his or her bad-mouthing.  As soon as you hear something negative that has your name in it, share your concern with Human Resources or others you know can help you.  Tell your confidante or advisor your plans to confront this person and if you don't trust him or her, be near witnesses, speak over the phone, or behind closed doors, but record the exchange.  Always have a paper trail with dates and times.  The sooner you address the "He say, She say," the better!  Request an apology or something in writing from those who can clear your name.

Three.  If you know of certain individuals who tend to eat lunch all the time, are related to one another, or seem to be connected due to fraternal connections, it is best to mention these affiliations in any report you file.  This will prove that individuals will lie, cover up or do anything else to support one another because many of these group members swear by oaths to protect secrets and more.  Be sure you are not a part of the club.  This means no lunch dates, attending events, etc.  Otherwise, your socializing with the group might be used against you later.  You may be labeled as the disgruntled one who got kicked out the club.

Four.  Those who use offensive remarks about others that are racial, sexist and more should be reported, but one should not threaten or physically fight the offenders.  When you do, you set yourself up for a future dismissal and you will also create enemies for all the wrong reasons.  Find out what does company policy say about offensive statements, hand gestures, etc.

Five.  Trouble-makers on the job usually have an extensive history.  Do your research to find out why certain people continue to stay.  Don't bring up concerns to those who favor these individuals.  Think of ways to bring attention to the matter within the group.  If you have to be anonymous, then do so.  However, don't prepare your concern at the workplace, go elsewhere to do it and don't save what you wrote on a personal computer.  If you are mailing correspondence, go outside of where you live to do it.  Avoid handwriting envelopes and letters.  Use paper that can't be tracked back to you.  Mail outside of the post office (off the property).  If you are very concerned, be sure your fingerprints are not on paper, postage, envelope, and other places.  If your identity being found out is a non-issue, then send email with time and date stamp and cc. all those who need to know about your concerns. 

Six.   Notice who the angry workers are in your organization.  They are typically easily irritated, often do not smile, curse, or throw things.  They disrespect others and are not able to work in groups.  Then there are those who are good actors who will smile for certain individuals and not others.  When you hear repeated complaints about these angry individuals, do something about them when in your power such as: meet with them and ask about their issues and provide tips, send them written correspondence and offer assistance, seek your boss for advice, report to H.R. and be knowledgeable of your rights and company policies.  Direct these ticking time bombs to necessary help within your company or outside of it.  Offer days off when possible.  Remember, note your findings because you might be called as a character witness one day.  Always follow-up!  Schedule a future appointment with the angry employee during the meeting, and try not to cancel.

Seven.  You or someone you know might come to a point that a worker/manager can't do anything else to rectify a matter.  The dissatisfied employee may or may not be visibly upset.  When you know you can't do anything else to get your issue resolved, don't badger anyone and avoid complaining; rather, make up in your mind either you will accept things how they are or move on.  Maybe things might change because of your long history of fighting the good fight, but then maybe not. 

Don't drive yourself crazy trying to get some justice for your issue or someone else's!  Be sure to have a network of supportive individuals who can counsel/pray/assist you when you are down.  Surrounding yourself with useless, unwise advisers and so-called helpful mentors who have proven that their good tips have run out, will not help you to be the most effective on the job.  In time, your issues at work will surface on the home front and when this happens you will definitely hate your job and everyone who works there. 

Stop the rage about someone or something early on, by taking appropriate action,  do things like: consult with others to see what they have done in a similar situation, take days off to think, find positive ways to express yourself, and above everything else when no one seems to understand or will listen, start putting those resumes out! 

Don't waste your life staying with a company or working in a department that doesn't help you when you are down!  Life is simply too short!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and other books available on Amazon.com



Thursday

When Trying to Be Nice No Longer Works On the Job

So you have done everything to appease that customer/client/employee/boss and now it is time to make this person see that you are nobody's fool any longer!  Just a minute, before you put your foot down, you do plan on keeping your job right? 

One.  Communicate how you feel in a serious tone.

Joking, smiling, and making flattering statements is not going to make this person who finds you weak consider you strong.  Fix your face!  Let's get serious.  The fun and games are over!

Two.  Express how his or her actions or inactions are affecting not just you, but the organization.

Show proof when you make accusations.  What exactly is he or she doing or not doing that is making you feel the way that you do?  Don't assume that the employee knows already.  Remember some people are mentally slow and don't catch on to hints and forget reminders.

Three.  Change your clothing and your posture for the meeting.

You might schedule to meet with this person on a specified day so that you will have time to go over all that concerns you.  If this is the case, then don't present yourself in the way you typically do with the employee.  Instead, address your concerns from a standing position, if you typically sit behind a desk or reverse.  Wear a bold, dark solid color, rather than a light color with prints.  Your demeanor should be showing this person, "I mean business."

Four.  Spell your concerns out and have them printed on paper.

Even though it might be a little issue or something that others wouldn't make a big deal about, you will want your situation in writing because it may be ongoing without any resolve.  Consult with Human Resources on what your rights are and have them review the contents of your communication. When talking to other's about your situation, you want to make it clear that the employee is just not understanding you or what you want after past attempts to talk to him or her. 

Your goal is to get a solution and fast before this person comes up with something to get the upperhand on you.  Upper management may not want to help because they are too busy for what they might consider petty.  Lower management may not care because this problem worker because he or she isn't affecting his or her department.  Keep in mind, to send a copy of your concern with those who need to know even if they don't want to help or don't think it is anything worth addressing.  Share your printed material you plan to give the employee along with any other communication before your confrontation with him or her.  After the meeting pen the results of your meeting and share with your superiors and then at a later date note the worker's progress.  This way if this person needs to be dismissed, you will have a paper trail.

If you should have to confront someone who you believe might be a liar, deceptive or has been known to get people fired, do let someone know about your experiences, what you plan to do, what you expect from this person, and what you hope will be accomplished if this person doesn't stop or start doing whatever it is that you are expecting.

Be polite, but not "nice" in the sense of being weak or sweet.  Most ikely this person keeps giving you problems, because he or she is taking your "nice" personality for being weak-minded. 

Use your voice to help you articulate your thoughts in a way that makes the worker know he or she has crossed the line.  If necessary, have witnesses.  Sometimes behind closed door confrontations don't do anything more than turn into "He say, She say..." matches.  So if something continues to happen, bring the matter out in the open in such a way that witnesses can see.  Of course, you may be reprimanded by an authority figure or someone might be offended and complain, but when nothing else seems to work, do what you must!  Sometimes public exposure is a very powerful weapon when used appropriately and will cause you to obtain the respect you deserve!

Nicholl McGuire writes and maintains other blogs including: When Mothers Cry and Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate.

10 Signs it Might Be Time to Move On from a Job

Lately work has been something like a bad relationship, you are putting up with foolishness because you just aren't ready to leave.  At times you convince yourself that everything is "Okay" and "Alright" when it isn't.  But why put yourself through all this worry and stress?  Maybe you do need to leave.  However, before you do anything drastic, pay closer attention to the signs and then do something about your woes.

One.  Leadership frequently fails to keep their promises while leaving it up to you to dig them out of their messes.

Two.  You no longer feel that your spiritual faith can sustain you each day you show up at your workplace.

Three. Your boss and co-workers keep finding faults with you even when what you do isn't worth mentioning.

Four.  Your spouse or best friend keep telling you to quit your job because he or she sees how bad it is affecting you personally.

Five.  You find yourself lying about little things just to hide your true feelings about your job.

Six.   The money received from your work is no longer helping you meet financial goals.

Seven.  Hateful feelings concerning your job are festering within you and you are gradually ruining your relationship with others as a result.

Eight.  You are beginning to come to work late and are often taking days off.

Nine.  You worry about getting fired for things you know you shouldn't be doing or saying at work.

Ten.  You no longer like to commute from your home to your job and complain often about how far away you live.

If the majority of these signs describe your situation, it's time to make a serious effort to rid yourself from this emotionally and physically binding job.

To your peace and a sound mind!

Nicholl McGuire blogs periodically on Apartment Leasing Tips blog.

Are you a believer in the workplace?

For those of you who have a faith in the workplace, Nicholl, writer and manager of this blog, has created a new blog Face Your Foe.  Although in it's infancy, this blog and future book is written from a spiritual perspective with tips on facing certain enemies like the liar, pervert, etc. anywhere. 

We know that every smiling face at the workplace doesn't like Christ followers much less are interested in what they have to say.  So do stop on over at Face Your Foe and put some useful information into practice to help you solve your workplace dilemmas.  You do have a fellow believer who cares! 

God talk is always welcome!  Enjoy.

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