Workplace Blues, Be Gone!

By: Joe Kenny

I have worked in several environments over my professional career that had a major case of what I would call the “Workplace Blues.” When I’ve found myself in these situations, I’ve always tried to make the best of things, but I’d often scratch my head and wonder, “Why doesn’t the management team address the 3,000 lb. pink elephant in the room? Our work environment is terrible and the people just don’t care.”

Upon doing a quick analysis of each situation, I would typically find that the manager of the operation/department had everything to do with these issues, which always varied in nature from poor management skills, reduced commission and compensation plans, the denial of PTO requests, or added responsibilities without pay, etc. With that being said, the one constant was always very low productivity and a culture that smelled like rotten eggs on a 100 degree day. We have all seen this situation in our professional careers, but what we do to make a difference once we have identified the issue is what makes a person an effective leader in the workplace. That’s right; you don’t need to be a manager to change your office environment.

People naturally rally around strong, sensible personalities, so having a title is not necessary to improving your workplace culture. When I found myself in these situations, I used these four methods to help deflect negativity and build a stronger culture for the people around me:

  • Always stay positive: People want to be around positive people and embrace people who have the ability to bring the best out of them in the toughest conditions
  • Always Celebrate: Celebrate everything that one could possibly celebrate. These means telling your co-workers they did a great job on completing that project, or congratulate them on closing that new account.
  • Always take time to listen: Listening to your co-workers when they are having a tough day at the office can prove invaluable. People like to know they have a positive, listening ear to help keep them motivated.
  • Always lead by example: Don’t tell people how great you are; prove it to them. Show up early, work hard, assist people when it’s needed, and people will then notice your worth.

As simple as these tips may be, it is very easy to get caught up in the workplace blues. Remember, leaders don’t have time to complain. Instead, they look for solutions to the problems they see around them. Now go out there and put these into practice, and let the work place blues be gone!