Are You Blaming Your Co-Workers or Helping Find Solutions
- Friday December 6th, 2013
Employers take a big gamble when they post jobs. Canada is like most other countries where the number of unemployed is high, yet employers are having a difficult time filling open positions. After they post jobs, Canadian employers start looking for high-quality workers and cannot seem to find them. Even more perplexing, they are posting jobs and filling them, only to find that many new hires do not exhibit acceptable office behaviour, although they have impressive technical skills packed on their resume.
Your Workplace Behaviour Record
Whether working on a project, in a volunteer engagement or serving on a permanent workplace team, it is important for employees to act professionally. Similar to your credit record, your workplace behaviour record may be uncovered and retrieved anytime. Employers are not looking for new hires who will argue and undermine each other. They want workers who know how to act professionally, regardless of the workplace situation, who will be part of a winning team. For some people to fit this mold, a bit of adjustment is required. If the change is not made voluntarily, it may be mandated by the employer and you may pay the price of the extra workload you are generating for them
Be a Winner, not a Whiner Playing the Blaming Game
Job seekers often do not think about the risk taken by employers when they post jobs to hire new employees. Canada is considered a professional country in general, and anyone with a Canadian experience understands the cultural requirements and the expectations; so job seekers believe that most workers will behave accordingly. As the saying goes, a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. Even if the majority of Canadian workers are respectful, industrious, civil and sources of useful ideas, some are not. These individuals spend time blaming their co-workers for mistakes. In some cases, those receiving the blame may not even deserve it. Even when they do, how far does playing the blame game get anyone?
A better approach for workers to take is a proactive one. As soon as an issue arises, a worker should stop to identify it and help find a solution. You should think and act like “the buck stops with me”. This approach is recommended no matter who caused the problem. Even if the person knows another worker was to blame, announcing that does nothing to correct the issue. Canadian employers are looking for employee who take ownership of issues and help solve them, but not whiners who are part of the problem to solve. So, with each job posting, employers feel much better knowing that applicants are resolvers, not blamers. A workplace is a microcosm of the real world with all its diversity, opposition and differences. It is not and can’t be a perfect place. The challenge for every employee then is to be able to adapt and help grow the best results.
Focus on Issues; Don’t Stir Emotions
If a worker sees a problem and knows who caused it, the situation can be addressed with that individual, as long as the culture of the workplace supports this. Addressing it does not mean pointing the finger, it means making a note of the error or problem and suggesting a way to correct or resolve it. When handled in the proper way, there are no embarrassing or resentful feelings on anyone’s part. The secret is to learn to focus on the issue to address and try hard to avoid raising bad emotions in your co-workers in the process.
As a job candidate, you hopefully now understand why employers are taking a more proactive approach to identifying worker behaviour when they post jobs. Canadian employers typically conduct pre-employment testing that identifies personality and behavioral attributes of applicants. Before embarking on a job search, people should evaluate their past workplace interactions and take steps to change undesirable behaviours to improve your “workplace behaviour record”.
Improving your Workplace Behaviour
Reading books on acceptable office behaviour is one way to address any deficiencies. Taking a class that involves role-playing typical office situations is another. There also are several behavioral profile assessment techniques that may help you understand your work persona or the personality you display in a work environment. However, the best way to internalize desirable workplace behavior is to practice it. Before reacting, workers should take a moment to review the situation and determine the most effective and positive approach for all involved.
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