Poor work ethic and culture is a major challenge that businesses silently grapple with, whether remotely or in the workplace. It even tends to turn some employers into very mean people.
Workers show up late at work, drag feet to get things done, hardly reply to emails, fail at deliverables repeatedly, some keep making excuses to travel for one occasion or the other at the expense of the organization, and so on.
As much as it is important to be flexible as an employer, it is more important that you don’t unknowingly indulge the fundamental problem of poor work culture.
You need to design guidelines and processes that will help workers improve their work ethic and discipline over time and those who are unwilling to improve should be eased out.
If you create penalties for late coming and other issues, follow through with implementing those penalties so that your people don’t take your systems and processes for granted.
At a restaurant brand we manage, one staff had the habit of always making something different from what the client ordered thereby wasting resources. We implemented the penalty of salary deduction for two months to replace the materials that were wasted. He does not repeat the mistake any more.
You may be scared of losing those who really know the job, but indulging a bad attitude to work will cost your business greater harm eventually.
Be fair but also be firm.
One of the toughest parts of being the head of an organisation is having someone whom you trust to oversee the affairs of the business whenever you are absent. Most employers and heads of departments would agree that trustworthy employees or team members are hard to come by these days. A lot of organisations have been ruined by dubious staff who take pleasure in pilfering or watching the organisation lose revenue.
Oblivious to the cunning activities of the employees, some employers continue to feed on the lies of their staff. When the company’s sales deteriorates, they bear the blame thinking they are incompetent or ineffective. Asides from the worries it brings to the employer, it drives some businesses to their untimely end and puts the employer in emotional distress.
Often, we conclude too easily that only junior staff are involved in these despicable acts but most times when uncovering the truth, senior staff are usually involved in such deeds. This revelation most often than not leaves the employer in shock, wondering the reasons behind the perpetrators’ decision. In the passing of time, these employers or top-level managers become distrusting of virtually every staff.
Kwani’s story depicts a typical scenario of what happens in most known organisations. Here is a narration of Kwani’s tempting experience.
It was dusk and everyone was clearing his or her work desk, ready to shutdown for the day’s work. Kwani who was new in the company curiously watched some staff speak in hush voices and act in suspicious ways. He had noticed these same moves over the past weeks and had enquired from one of his colleagues why they usually stayed behind after the close of work. As expected, his colleagues gave a casual response that only raised Kwani’s curiosity. His colleagues had said, “We carry out some confidential assignments for the company. Only those involved get to know. If you are interested. Let me know.”
Rather than ask them again, Kwani decided to sneak up on them to find out what the confidential task was. Tracing their steps but maintaining a reasonable distance so he is not sighted, Kwani followed them into the dark warehouse, and he became more perplexed. While three persons took out fifty cartons of the company’s products, two others dashed out to open the back gate for some strangers who drove in with a truck.
He silently observed as they loaded the vehicle with the products and received some amount of cash in return. They chatted and cheered as they carried out their transaction. Kwani stood in a corner, confused about his next step. As they were rounding up, Kwani quickly walked out. He spent the next day torn apart, part of him wanted to report the perpetrators and the other part wanted to join them at least to earn more money for himself. After dealing with the dilemmatic intrapersonal conversation, he decided to report the act.
That day, he contacted the HR manager and informed her about his findings. She thanked and assured him of an immediate action against those were working against the progress of the company. Unfortunately, two months later, Kwani was rewarded for his integrity but got fired some weeks after. When he made enquiries about why he was sacked, he found out that one of the Managers was spearheading the operations. Kwani continued to blame himself for exposing those behind the act, maybe joining them would have been the best option.
Knowing that no business ever thrives without the right set of persons working behind them, what remedy can you proffer for staff disloyalty and pilfering? Once again, the need for effective systems and processes cannot be overemphasized.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help with setting up your systems and processes? We can get it done for you professionally. Send us an email at email@example.com
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Age is often considered as just a number and one of the common assumptions about it in the corporate world is that people concern themselves with work goals and never who is older. Like we know, the workplace comprises of different age generations of people who are expected to work together with mutual respect. However, at some point, there is set to be a clash between colleagues in different generations and even those in the same age bracket. This could affect communication thereby stifling work efficiency.
Most times age diversity in the workplace is considered the best recruiting strategy despite the strife it causes. It remains an inevitable fact that the corporate world is made up of a mixed multitude who will never have the same features. Due to this, people, whether young or old, would constantly find ways to deal with work relationships.
In every organisation, there are different demands each age generation makes to another but one thing they all seek from each other, is respect. Both old and young colleagues desire to be respected by their team members. Often times, the older generations tend to seek more respect and usually detest being answerable to a younger colleague whose attitude they find unpleasant. Most of them consider taking orders from a younger person very insulting and could even resign if their boss is younger than they are.
On the other hand, the younger generation most likely would prefer if the age constraint is removed from the picture and everyone considered as equals. They would prefer to express themselves and relate with everyone on the same level without age being a barrier. With this mentality, when they are promoted to higher positions, they often do not give preference to age and could easily be seen as rude. Either ways, people in the workplace are left to deal with this dilemma every working day.
Here is a short story to drive home the point.
Kachi watched her supervisor, Miss Ibinabo, walk in majestically in that her noticeable Christian Louboutin heels that always announced her arrival. She grimaced as she heard her lashing out at everyone who seemed to be slacking on their task. Whenever she yelled at one person, her voice echoed over the entire place as though she was addressing everyone. When she spoke she expected a rapt attention which most of them gave subconsciously because of her commanding voice.
Though Miss Ibinabo was promoted to the supervisory position on the basis of her exposure and her creativity at work, she remained one of the youngest in the firm. She was barely twenty-eight and didn’t have as much experience as Kachi and the rest of the employees. Kachi who was ten years older than her always felt degraded whenever she had to sit and listen to Miss Ibinabo speak or assess her work. It wasn’t the things she said that pissed Kachi and other workers but her poor approach towards handling crises and the disrespect in her voice.
Outside the work environment Kachi could bet on her life that she would never succumb to taking orders from anyone younger than she is. She was certain Miss Ibinabo would never dare to speak to any older staff the manner she did if they had met outside the work environment. Everyone one knew her authority ended around the four walls of the company. Once Mr Fred in Kachi’s department, who was in his early fifties, had threatened to slap the madness out of her and termed her childish when she talked down on his work.
Severally Kachi had felt the urge to confront Miss Ibinabo and talk some sense into her but she feared she might be misinterpreted as being envious of the younger lady. So each day, while Miss Ibinabo strolled from desk to desk with those her silence breaking heels, and begin to prove to everyone that she was the one in charge, Kachi would bite her tongue, swallow her words and let things slide. Today was one of those days, she would let peace reign.
Can you work for an employer or work under a supervisor who you are older than? Would the case be different if the supervisor was older? Let’s know your thoughts in the comment session.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you want to train your employees on work ethics? We can help! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”- Benjamin Franklin
An unknown tool instrumental to the growth of a business, which most employers and employees fail to recognise, is spoken words. Many times, the words we speak might seem inconsequential to us to the point we fail to pay attention to what we say. We frequently underestimate the power of our words both to ourselves and to our colleagues at work.
In some corporate firms, a boss or senior staff uses the name-calling approach towards a junior staff to address an offense or a mistake. In addition, colleagues exchange hurtful words. “You must be blind not to have seen this mistake!” “Only idiots make lame moves like this,” “fool, leave my office”, there are endless examples that could be cited to show the unpleasant attitude displayed in the workplace. All these are termed ways of expressing oneself, in the process ignoring the other person’s feelings.
Some people brag about being vocal and therefore believe they have the right to lash out irrespective of who is involved. Never does it cross their minds to examine the weight of their words and the aftermath. In the end, there are a lot of many bruised emotions and disconnected people in the work environment.
When people are disconnected, there is a nosedive in productivity. It is important to note that words can either make or mar and even destroy professional relationships. No client would appreciate having abusive workers execute their job. This makes the work toxic and less efficient.
The opening quote made by one of the founding fathers of America, Benjamin Franklin, explicitly suggest how best to speak at every point in time regardless of how we feel. Benjamin Franklin obviously must have worked with all types of people with different characters. Yet in the midst of them, he learned a better way to handle human relationship. This is what we often refer as emotional intelligence.
Unlike Franklin, in our present time, many leaders of organisations have not quite understood how to relate excellently which has been a major flaw on their part. Knowing that the words you say to your team could either encourage or discourage them, more of them may become cautious with their choice of words.
Employees are not exempted. They too must learn to control their words and speak right. The organisation functions better when everyone has a knowledge of what is acceptable and what is not. Proper communication between people within the workspace should be included as part of the work ethics of any organisation. This way everyone shares the responsibility of building the company.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Would you like to run a training on emotional intelligence for your organisation? We’ve got you covered! Send us an email at email@example.com
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When we understand that words could either
The effects of nepotism on the growth of a business can never be overemphasized. Actually, it has been a clog on the wheel of most businesses. It is painful and discouraging when a loyal employee, due for promotion, is relegated in favour of another who is not qualified for that particular position but is accepted because he or she is the Boss’s relative.
Unfortunately, most business owners are not aware of the far-reaching consequences nepotism has on their business growth. Indirectly, this scenario encourages what we call ‘eye-service’ in the workplace. Every employee wants to be in ‘Oga’s good books’ by behaving a certain way in his presence – to get his favour – and in his absence, act in a certain way which on the long run affects the business negatively. They do this not because they hate the organization but because of the insecurity they feel with regards to their being promoted based on their efforts in growing the business and not the bias that comes from their Boss’s nepotistic tendencies.
Nepotism affects employee’s psychology making them feel that since they don’t stand a chance of being promoted or their efforts being recognized, they shouldn’t bother working hard or putting in their best; having it at the back of their minds that their Boss’s relative will always be preferred over them. Over time, employees’ passion for the job declines and everyone tends towards ‘eye-servicing’ because they feel that no matter how good they are and what values they have added to the company, their efforts will go unrecognized.
When employees do not give their best to the organization, it negatively affects the quality of the service rendered and in time, customers complaints starts soaring and subsequently a withdrawal in patronage occurs and this causes the business revenue to decline because income is generated when money is exchanged for products or services offered by the business to their customers. When there are no customers or a few customers, you know what that implies.
In addition, most business owners should take the bull by the horn to put an end to this workplace mayhem since this problem largely stems from them. Employees love to work in an environment where their career advancement prospects is certain against an atmosphere that stifles their potentials. As much as we love our relatives, if they aren’t best fit for a position and you have a loyal staff who is due for that position, why not allow him or her occupy that position?
Although we have looked at nepotism as it concerns promotions, it also plays out in other areas at the workplace like when taking disciplinary action to staff for unruly behavior. Everyone should be subject to same rules and principles, and not selective administration of penalties.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
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“I particularly think sunny days come with many hitches; the scorch, the sweat, the constant dehydration. Today is one of those days and the last thing I can stand is a heated office argument. That would only add to the ache pounding in my head, all thanks to the blazing sun.
This was why when a certain colleague of mine started the talk about the recent elections in that his usual loud manner, I quietly left for the other office. I still needed the little sanity I had left and just couldn’t afford to waste it on an argument with him. I knew him too well; his biased nature always gave him away on different topics. He was one who would never give in to his opponent’s opinion neither did he ever try to respect boundaries.
From the other office I could hear voices raised, each person defending their preferred candidate and their different political parties. An outsider would think it was a political rally instead of a corporate firm. Minutes later, out of the chaotic atmosphere I heard a slap and then punches followed before I knew it clothes were ripped. I couldn’t believe this was happening. The fact that adults would pick a fight because of a mere argument left me perplexed.
Later that day, the culprits were summoned by the HR manager and our boss. Trouble hovered in the sudden silence because we could tell what may come their way. The following day we learnt they had been given some punishment and everyone was banned from discussing about politics in the workplace….”
The story described above gives a mild description of what controversial topics like politics could result to. It is the season of elections and most people would be tempted to get involved in fierce political discussions anywhere they find themselves.
There is nothing wrong with having a political discussion but since the workplace is filled with people who have different ideologies concerning every life issue, it’s always advisable to avoid conversations that cause disputes. From research, topics like politics come with a lot of strife because people would always prefer one candidate to the other.
Many persons are passionate about a political party they believe is in line with their value system. It is a case of different strokes for different folks. The reality is not everyone will accept or promote your candidate and any attempt to force your belief down anybody’s throat could result into an ugly quarrel or fight.
Asides from steamed conversations, other things that can stir up strife are; wearing campaign attires to work, mocking other political candidates that could be your co-workers’ favourite etc. It is important that workers avoid anything that would trigger misunderstandings. This doesn’t imply that one shouldn’t have their opinion, on the contrary they should. However, if the idea is to spite others, then it is not worth it.
One important thing workers need to value in any workplace they find themselves is their relationship with fellow colleagues. Heated arguments like the scenario described above can ruin both one’s reputation and one’s relationship with co-workers. When this happens, team work becomes tedious and unproductive.
In a case where the political disposition of employees goes overboard, the employer has every right to ban any form of such discussions. In fact rules should be put in place to ensure there is mutual respect. Workers should always be conscious of the fact that the work environment is strictly designed for business, to achieve corporate goals and not for personal sentiments.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you want to train your employees on work ethics and other work related topics that would increase their productivity? We’ve got you covered! Shoot us an email at email@example.com.
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Mrs. Chika I. A. started out her teaching career as a care giver but has risen through the profession to becoming a well-experienced expert in educational management and a proficient developer of start-up schools convincing and increasing the confidence of parents/guardians to admit their wards and thus bringing in more money to school owners in Port Harcourt. She is currently a consultant manager for schools within and outside Port Harcourt metropolis and is a staff of the Universal Basic Education Board where she teaches in one of the State Primary Schools in Port Harcourt. With over 20 years of seamless dedication, we’ll see what drives and sustains her passion in one profession most young Nigerians wouldn’t want to venture into.
As earlier mentioned Mrs. Chika began her career providing care to 0 to 1 year old babies in a private school in Port Harcourt, more than 20 years ago; long after obtaining her GCE (General Certificate of Education) in 1990 and having before then, obtained a Distinction in her first school leaving examination. With little or no degree in education, she had a rough and slow ride in advancing her career as a teacher and went in and out of teaching, sometimes freelancing as an assistant teacher (which is more or less the job description of a teacher) in some private schools paying peanuts in Port Harcourt. Her dedication, hard-work, touch of excellence and eagerness to learn and adapt to the 21st century advancements in education teaching methods, gave her an edge over her counterparts in the teaching profession. This skyrocketed her career growth and she began working in the full capacity of a Teacher and had taught for several years before obtaining her National Certificate in Education (NCE) in 2010. During our interview with her, She stated that most of the schools she taught in had parents giving good reports and recommendations as she made tangible impacts in the lives of the pupils and proprietors found it difficult letting her go. She says:
“In fact one of the proprietors I worked for, that wasn’t faithful in salary payments, almost created a scene when she knelt down on the tarred road – in public view – pleading that I should come back teaching in her school; promising to pay on time; but I had gotten a bigger offer to manage a start-up school then, so I couldn’t stay.”
Mrs. Chika developed one of the most prime and quality schools in Port Harcourt in terms of infrastructure, sophistication of teaching materials; serene, beautifully painted and well decorated child-friendly classrooms, safe playing ground and well protected balcony’s, going on to conducting and supervising the recruitment process of quality staff, developing the curriculum/scheme of work for each class, utilizing various curricula combinations (American, British, Montessori), liaising with suppliers of educational materials and getting the best deals in quality, emphasizing on the importance of extra-curricular activities, vocational skills, musical instruments prowess and ballet dance skills, swimming skills, excursions, e-learning, efficient teaching methods for special kids, amongst other educational advancements. She went on to establish more schools in that regard. Her taste for knowledge drove her to getting various educational certifications and then she applied for a Bachelor’s degree in Education. When the employment offer by the government came, she had to make a tough decision of leaving her position and its pay to a position offering less than half her pay then. This shows vividly that her passion for teaching isn’t driven by money. She resigned and is currently a staff of the Rivers State Government under the Rivers State UBE board touching the lives of less-opportune children.
Having quite an interesting career trajectory, Mrs Chika threw light on the impact and challenges she had encountered so far on her career journey. Speaking on how working has impacted her life, she declares;
“I have gained experience over the years which have made me work with much more confidence, contributing to my expertise and making me highly sought-after by school investors and directors. So, the experience I have which can’t be taken away added to my wealth of knowledge in my profession and the financial aspect – though not much, has been of great impact to me.”
In addition, she spoke on the challenges that she encounters whilst working.
“The non-supply of teaching aids and learning materials has been a major challenge so far. My employer supply what they think is basic like the board, just recently more desks for the children were brought in, and a conducive classroom. But there are some other teaching aids and learning materials that needs to facilitate teaching and learning which they ought to supply but they don’t; so it hampers the teaching and learning process. Also, the meager salary paid in these economic times is a challenge. We have to live within our means and save ahead and also stock the kitchen ahead of time because we aren’t certain when the next salary would come. ”
When asked if she faces any challenges with teaching stubborn children, she has this to say:
“In education, we don’t tag any child stubborn. Every child is unique in his or her own way.”
PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENTS IN TERMS OF PROMOTION and FINANCE
Besides the challenges Mrs. Chika faces whilst impacting knowledge to the upcoming generation, there has also been a stall in promotional benefits of staffs. In fact it spreads across the civil service and we know that with promotion comes an increase in finance. Expressing her disappointment, when asked her career trajectory in terms of promotion and benefits, she has this to say:
“As a civil servant, it’s not in my hands to detect. It’s the government that carries it out. Though, there ought to be promotion after every two years during which promotional interviews are conducted; but for the past 10 years now nothing like that has happened. So I depend on God who doesn’t disappoint to reward me better. Aside the loans which are given once in a while, I’m unaware of any other benefits.”
HIGH POINT OF CAREER
When asked the question: ‘What has stood out for you since you started working, in other words, what’s your best experience so far?’. She has this to say:
“The outcome of my teaching on the lives of the children and teaching itself gives me joy. Children don’t need to be grown-ups to reflect the teaching even there and then, change occurs. Education is all about change and when this change manifests in the children’s’ lives it gives me joy. When you tell a child – if it’s in the moral aspect – that this is not good, and you see that child adjust and there’s a change in behavior, you know that you have achieved your goal. When you’re teaching a subject which the child had no previous knowledge about and at the end, that child becomes a guru on that topic, you’ve achieved your goal and achieving goals makes you happy and satisfied with your job”.
As a wrap up, our interviewee gave her advice to those seeking to build a career in Teaching. She opined;
“Have genuine love for the profession and passion also. If you don’t love teaching don’t go into it. Don’t go into teaching because you want to make money. You can’t make money in the classroom. You can’t turn those children into money or you’ll be tagged a ‘ritualist’. God has a way of blessing teachers. I can’t quote in ABC terms that this is how God blesses teachers; God has his own unique way of blessing teachers. So don’t go in expecting huge mega pay because you may be frustrated but go in with the intention of helping those young ones grow in knowledge”.
Mrs. Chika added that teachers should open themselves up to opportunities for career development.
“The world is changing and so every aspect of life changes with it. We should not be rigid but easily adaptable to technological advancements in education and teaching techniques”.
From Mrs. Chika’s Perspective about the work place, it is quite obvious that growth in whatever career path you’ve chosen is driven by your passion, taste for excellence/knowledge and not just the money. In fact the money shouldn’t be the prime focus especially in the teaching profession and happiness comes when you’ve met your goals.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
Do you need help in recruiting the right staff? We can help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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