accountability and workplace relationships

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“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Abraham Lincoln

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OBJECTIVESDefine and link the concepts of empowerment, responsibility, and accountability Describe how best to deal with your boss Describe how to respond when a workplace relationship turns negative Identify appropriate and inappropriate relationships with your boss, colleagues, executives, and customers Identify basic workplace expectations regarding social functions and gift-giving

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EMPOWERMENTEmpowerment: pushing power and decision-making to the individuals who are closest to the customer in an effort to increase: Quality Customer satisfaction Profit

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EMPOWERMENT Employees’ Direct ContributionEmployees making a direct contribution to the company’s activities results in: Improved performance Increased quality Improved customer satisfaction

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EMPOWERMENTResponsibility—employees accepting the power being given to them and the obligation to perform Accountability—reports back on accepted responsibility Employees are accountable to perform their best to: Each other Bosses Customers Investors

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PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITYEach employee must take personal responsibility for his or her performance Be on time Do not take sick leave when well Do what is expected During work hours, work Not being accountable to your coworkers leads to poor workplace relationships

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WORKPLACE RELATIONSHIPSConsistently behave professionally and respectfully to all Socializing with coworkers is both expected and acceptable to a degree Do not make workplace relationships your only circle of friends Difficult to separate work from personal issues Creates employee distrust Potential for favoritism

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WORKPLACE RELATIONSHIPSWorkplace relationships include: Coworkers Bosses/executives Investors Vendors Customers

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EXECUTIVES AND SENIOR OFFICIALSMay interact during: Meetings Corporate events Social functions In meetings: Do not dominate a discussion Politely introduce and do not interrupt Objective is to create a favorable and memorable impression Do not speak poorly of anyone Let executive guide the conversation

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YOUR BOSSThree types of bosses: Good boss Incompetent boss Abusive boss Bosses are human They are learning and developing their skills They are not perfect Assume they are doing their best No matter what type of boss you have, give your personal best

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YOUR BOSSGood Boss: one who is respectful and fair and will groom you for a promotion Be thankful but cautious Keep the relationship professional While it is acceptable to share important activities occurring in your personal life with your boss, never divulge too much personal information Take advantage of your good boss Use your boss as a professional mentor Imitate his or her professional qualities

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YOUR BOSSIncompetent Boss: one who does not know how to do his or her job No matter how bad the boss, remain professional and respectful Make your boss look good Demonstrates maturity Diminishes tension between you and your boss

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YOUR BOSS The Bad or Incompetent Boss (cont.)Boss receives credit for your hard work If boss is a poor performer, others in the company will know Your good work will get noticed by others Personality conflict Do not let personal feelings affect performance Stay positive and be of value to your boss Do not bad-mouth boss Learn what not to do when you become a boss

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YOUR BOSSAbusive Boss: one who is constantly belittling or intimidating employees Behavior is based on low self-esteem If tolerable, do your best with the situation If intolerable: Remain professional Do not go to boss’s boss Document facts and incidents Seek confidential advice from HRM department If unresolved, confidentially seek new job Employees have rights against discrimination and harassment

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COLLEAGUESBe friendly and respectful to all Be cautious Do not base friendships on work-related issues When close work friendships occur, others assume favoritism When personal friendships go sour, it will affect workplace performance Awkward for both parties

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OTHERS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATIONNetwork with others within the organization Keep all interactions positive and respectful Defend all employees Corporate (organizational) culture: the company’s personality reflected through its employees’ behavior Employee morale: the attitude employees have toward the company

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WHEN RELATIONSHIPS TURN NEGATIVEIf you harmed the other person (intentionally or unintentionally), apologize immediately If apology is accepted, demonstrate regret by changing your behavior If apology is not accepted, move on and demonstrate regret by changing (improving) your behavior

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WHEN RELATIONSHIPS TURN NEGATIVE (cont.)If the relationship is lost, do not hold a grudge; continue being polite, respectful, and professional to the offended co-worker If your offended co-worker acts rudely or inappropriately, do not retaliate by returning the poor behavior; respond with kindness If rude and inappropriate behavior impacts performance or is hostile or harassing, document the situation and inform boss

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DATING AT WORKMany companies discourage co-workers from dating each other Dating your boss is highly inappropriate Use caution when dating vendors/customers You are representing the company 24/7 Do not share confidential information Do not speak poorly of company/co-workers It is best to keep your romantic life separate from work

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SOCIALIZINGPicnics, potlucks, and other celebrations Some enjoy social functions; others do not It is rude to not attend/acknowledge functions taking place at the workplace Stop by, even briefly, to send regards Attendance at work-related social events occurring outside of the worksite is optional Use caution when alcohol is being served It is best to refrain from alcohol

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SHARED WORK AREASCubicles and open work areas Respect privacy of each workspace as if it were an individual office In shared work areas avoid: Loud noises Smells Distractions that interrupt or annoy others Stand at entrance to work area and wait for invitation to enter work area Do not take or use items without permission

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TALK IT OUT What are common distractions that employees should avoid doing in a common work area?

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BREAKS AND THE BREAK ROOMContribute to community coffee/snack fund if you partake Do not eat others’ food being stored in the refrigerator Throw out your unused or spoiled food at the end of each workweek Clean up after yourself Leave things clean for the next person

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MISCELLANEOUS WORKPLACE ISSUESUse caution when fundraising to co-workers Gift-giving is not required Give discretely if you choose to give Group gifts for Boss’s Day or Secretary’s Day are common Not mandatory to give If you decline to participate, no negative comments If you receive a gift, immediately send a thank-you note

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MISCELLANEOUS WORKPLACE ISSUES (Cont.)Good employees take ownership of common work areas Practice common courtesy Refill empty coffee pot Refill copy machine when low on paper When office machine is jammed, do not leave problem for someone else to solve If unable to solve, alert someone who can fix the problem

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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