Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 things employees should remember

I often give Management a hard time.  More because I find that anytime you give an individual extended power over the lives of other people, that Individual can find themselves easily corrupted.  This certainly does not happen in every case, but it is hard to argue against the fact that it happens a lot.

The truth is, Good Management is a pretty hard task and done poorly it can be even harder.  Middle management can be a particularly thankless job where you have the worst of both worlds.  You're not one of the commoners, but you are not an upper echelon employee, and they will keep you on that hook for ever seeking after that ever elusive promotion.  Employees generally are an unruly lot that make it hard on managers.  Lets look at these things that employees should remember (heck they might even help keep you employed!).  I will create this list based on the basic assumption that you are already DOING YOUR JOB.

During this past holiday season, I decided to do a turn for our corporate benefactors.  For all of you that resent those 'rich fat-cats' that run companies, just remember that those rich fat-cats are the ones making the jobs and these days there are many more people looking to get paid than people looking to pay them.  But I digress...

10.  Your emergencies are NOT the companies emergencies. - Someone calling in to say ' I won't be getting in on time because of .  For some reason this is thought of as an excusable absence.  People don't wanna use their sick days etc for actually being sick because they used them all up on their vacation.  Usually a company starts out being very generous with sick policy and being on time to work.  Unfortunately it only takes one complete idiot BONEHEAD to mess this up for everyone.  This person seems to be at the constant whim and fancy of fate.  They often wonder why they are so unlucky and why fate casts a wan glance towards them.  Here is a hint:  You've probably made some very bad choices which in turn creates vulnerability to bad circumstances.  In other words, it's probably your fault and if it isn't your fault, it IS your responsibility.  Don't ruin it for the rest of us.  Play fair with company time.

9. Company equipment and supplies are NOT yours - I just needed a pad of post-its!  Ya know, I do a lot of work from home.  Nobody was using this monitor!  There are any number of ways that you can justify petty theft from any given company.  Why do you think big companies put their names on everything?  Advertising?  No, Theft tracking.  The exit interview from a large company will include a look in your junk drawers at home to see if there are any company things missing.  Just kidding.  But seriously, you should probably ask before you take the store home with you.

8.  Employers are NOT cash machines - Don't ask for an extension on your pay. - We all have problems, and in this economy it seems many of those problems begin and end with money.  Try to remember, money has everything to do with how much you spend over how much you make.  If you have over extended yourself, maybe you should think about dumping the premium cable package, or perhaps not go to Costco one time that month (where rumor has it that you are not allowed to leave with less than 200$ purchased, that's why they check your receipt on the way out.)  The reason you don't want to ask employers for extensions in pay is several fold.  First, you are simply extending your expenses into the next check which has it's own set of expenses earmarked.  Second, how would you feel if the company said 'we are having some cash problems, so would you all mind not getting paid next check so we can get back on our feet?'...I see...I don't think companies can even ride a horse.  Third, early credit causes heartburn to a lot of departments that they shouldn't have to feel because you HAD to HAVE that 3d-LED tv for Christmas (that you couldn't afford) sheesh!

7.  If you need to nap, take a sick day - Sleeping on the job?  really ?!?  You have got to be kidding me.  Never a good idea, but after that big lunch you get those droopy eyelids and your job really isn't that exciting, maybe you could just duck into a store room for a quick catnap.  Or better yet, just doze off in front of your monitor.  If you are losing sleep, you are not performing on the job.  Take your lunch break and take a nap in your car.  More tired than that?!  take a sick day and get some rest!

6.  The company employee handbook is not there to rest your mug on. - Be acquainted with your company employee handbook.  It's going to tell you great information about what does or does not count towards PTO (Personal Time Off) and how much vacation accrues per pay period.  Overtime policies and workplace injuries are usually noted as well.  It's all there.  If the company doesn't have a handbook, you might want to ask for one.  There should be company rules and those rules should be known by company and employee alike.

5.  You are expected to be more valuable than you are being paid. - This nonsense about how much you are worth to the company is just that.  Nonsense.  It's not that you aren't valuable, but if you think that by your leaving the company will cease to exist, you are sadly mistaken.  Also if you have that attitude, it's likely time for you to look for gainful employ elsewhere.  If you aren't giving enough value to assist in the company's growth you should likely work a bit harder.  The company is there to make it's investors/owners more money than current bank rates.  It pays you in order to help it do so.  That's the price you pay for not having to risk owning your own company with your own money and all of the heartburn that includes.  This is America and for the moment, anyone can take a turn at making money in private enterprise.  If you don't like the way your company does it, then build a better mousetrap and prove them wrong.

4.  No, you can't just throw on 'whatever' and come to work. - If you see a section in the employee handbook (mentioned above) about a dress code, it's highly likely that someone earlier on in the company's history decided to come to work in ill fitting sweats and a ripped t-shirt, or hot-pants and a halter top because 'there isn't any dress code so I thought this would be ok'.  Dress codes are like super villains (or hero's for that matter).  They all start with an origin story.  You don't want to be the subject of that origin story.  It's not the kind of legacy you wish to leave...or do you?!

3.  Remember who the founder of the feast is. - It's interesting that often people will complain about company parties or company perks like t-shirts or fun contests.  Just what kind of an ungrateful child were you?!  Out of those employees that want to play Schindler to the companies Nazi party and talk about how many jobs could be saved for the expense of this or that 'waste of time'.  Remember many of those jobs would not be here even if the company didn't have the little extras that all of the sudden you are playing Penny Pincher Petunia on.  You certainly didn't have this problem when you were relieving the company of a ream of paper because you printed your w-2 at home.  So don't screw up the few nice things a company may do for you and try to show your gratitude once in a while because oddly enough the company might deserve it.  Along these same lines, if the company is providing you with an in company benefit.  Don't abuse it!  Free or subsidized drinks on the company are meant to be used on premises during work hours.  They are NOT meant to be stowed in an employees car for the party that employee is throwing this weekend!

2.  If you are working on it during company time, it is company property.- Working on little pet projects during company time?  Writing that great American novel that will get you out of this hole?  Organizing your scout troop from work?  The company owns (and rightfully so) any work you do while they are paying you.  If you happen to invent perpetual energy while you are at work and so much as a scribble of the design sits on a napkin in your cube, you probably will end up owing the company a piece of that if they want you to.  Many company's just assume it is a part of having humans as employees and that is more than fair on their part.  But for your part, you may want to either make an arrangement with the company or keep your work at home.

1.  Don't be a pain in the Rump - All of you wanna be Lawyers and Barristers that wish to examine all company laws and by laws for any obvious loopholes or hypocrisies, just remember:  The company gives you money to spend time on their behalf. Phrases like "I'm not paid to do THAT" will definitely put you in solid with your managers (I'm rolling my eyes now).   Playing the rules like a lawyer plays an Injury case may be perfectly within your rights and a perfectly 'fair' to do, but you are being a pain in the butt and that pain will wear on your superiors.  It really will only be a matter of time before they find you less useful than you are being paid for and encourage you to find 'exciting new opportunities'.  Remember, sometimes you don't need a reason to be fired, just an excuse will do.

No, I don't follow all of these little rules. No I haven't been recently switched into a management position and am trying to play toady (If you even thought that, you probably don't know me very well, if at all)  I just realized that for all of my complaining about management, there are plenty of things that we do as employees that cause management to do what they do.  Trying to mitigate bad circumstances will usually work in your favor...Usually...;)  Happy New year Everyone!

I hope your holidays were Merry!  only 2 more years till the end of the world!

1 comment:

Employee Hand Book said...

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Employee Hand Book