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Every workplace has its issues, whether they’re just small annoyances, or big problems. We all know what they are, and we talk about them with our co-workers. That’s usually as far as it goes.
Mostly, we just like to complain, and wonder why, “no one ever does anything to try to make things better around here.” Always waiting for someone else, someone in “leadership,” to take action.
Take the Lead in Addressing Workplace Issues
Well, guess what. You can be that person in “leadership.” Clearly state the issue, and come up with some ideas to improve the situation. Then share these ideas not only with your co-workers, but find the person or pathway to help you make things change.
Rather than focusing on the issues, put your energy into finding solutions.
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~Socrates
At one point in my working life, I realized that I had reached the end of my career path in the particular place where I was working. More than once, I felt that I faced barriers based on my degree, age, gender, or contractor status. Looking around I couldn’t see any opportunities for growth and advancement.
I felt the only way to move up was to move on, so I found a new job, and I quit.
When I told my boss that I was leaving, and explained why, she spent an hour sharing her vision with me about the future of our group, and told me that I was an important part of that future. We both then spent a very long weekend, while I contemplated my choices. In the end, I chose to stay.
After that, I realized that I didn’t have to just accept things as they were in my workplace. Why should I go to a completely new company to try to get away from the issues I was facing? A new place would have its own issues, anyway.
I scheduled a meeting with the big boss, and rather than coming to him with complaints, I came with ideas.
One of those ideas was to start a committee to focus on improving workplace culture. It took a few months, and some gentle prodding, to get that going, but it did happen. Interest was high, and a dedicated group formed to talk about issues, and come up with actionable ideas to address them.
Things to Remember
- The view is different from the top. The company leaders may not realize what issues are being faced by their employees.
- You’re the one living with the problems, so you have a better perspective on the causes and effects. You may be in a better position to figure out how to address issues effectively.
- The big bosses are busy people. If you just come with a complaint, they may not have the capacity to figure out how to fix it. When you come to them with a solution in hand, they may be able to start making things happen sooner.
If you come with ideas for improvements, and not just your complaints, changes are much more likely to happen.
Not every time, but sometimes. And you’ll be amazed at how refreshing it is to focus on good ideas, rather than dwelling on the bad.
Tell us about your ideas for addressing issues in your own workplace. We’d all love to hear them.