There is more to keeping your job than knowing how to perform the job requirements. One area of concern that is frequently undervalued is effective interpersonal communication skills for building and preserving working relationships. This dynamic can be critical for individual success at work, and ultimately the success of the company. The following are tips for producing favorable results for all concerned.
First, strive to keep good working relationships around you, and recognize there are many small mistakes that can compound if they are not properly managed or avoided entirely. Watch for seemingly small errors in relationship building. Knowing how to deal with interpersonal matters can preserve your job and make your work life, and the work life of those around you, more pleasant.
Second, be aware that some companies have policies concerning relationships between workers. There are usually policies addressing dating, marriage and employment of family members. Do not assume you know the policy where you work. Locate and read the policy in your company’s employee handbook or ask the Human Resource Manager for clarification. It is one area you must understand.
It is not unusual for companies to have policies stating that relationships you have during the hours on the job must remain professional at all times. Personal, dating and familial relationships may be prohibited entirely, and if they are allowed by company policy they must be conducted professionally, especially if the involved individuals work closely on a daily basis. However, sometimes in larger organizations where distance and department differentials prevent close proximity of two subject employees, that prohibition might be relaxed by management’s consent.
The importance of knowing your company’s policy on relationships in the workplace is very important. Do not assume you know the policy where you work. Read the policy in your company’s employee handbook or ask the Human Resource Manager if you have questions. It is one area you must clearly understand.
The third area to be concerned with is gossip. Talking about others, which to you may seem to be harmless evaluation, can ruin relationships and be disastrous for interoffice relationships, and potentially affect the company. Gossip can make you look bad and get the person being targeted into trouble for no reason. You should save your gossip and personal evaluation of others for a time when you are outside the workplace. Or better yet, keep you assessments to yourself.
In the event you are bullied by a co-worker, know that the bully cannot harm you. Keeping good notes about the bullying incidences can serve as substantiation for your claim should you decide to take action later. When your notes are complete and prove your complaint, present the information to your supervisor or the company’s Human Resources Manager. Usually, they are in a position to better handle the situation for all parties concerned.
In addition to the previously mentioned issues, do not take credit for things you did not do, and quickly speak up when you make mistakes. Do not take from the common facilities such as break room storage and refrigerators, food that belongs to others without their consent. Also, pay for your food and drinks when you’re with co-workers outside the office. It’s amazing how small matters can swell into monstrous concerns, and it’s easy to avoid them by being aware of potential danger zones like these.
Your attention to these areas can minimize many complications. Improving interpersonal communications can improve your work life, and knowing your company’s policies is required for appropriate workplace behavior. Although these points are not exhaustive they can help produce an effective and pleasant workplace.
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