Ten Ways to Amaze your Co-Workers
by Melinda Tunbridge, Director – Human Resources at Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia
You spend more time per week with your co-workers than your family, so how do you stay on the right side of your team mates – better yet, what will make you amazing in their eyes!
1. Ask questions.
Depending on the questions you ask, asking questions can either be ‘amazing’ or down right annoying. If you ask your boss or co-worker something he or she has mentioned repeatedly or something that is obvious, that probably falls more into the annoying camp. Asking questions for clarification or further insight shows that you are eager to learn and equally interested in what’s happening around you.
2. Be ready to lend a helping hand.
No matter what your job is, everyone wants to work with someone that is helpful. If you are ready to lend a helping hand, be the one that can be depended upon, your boss and co-workers will appreciate and admire you for it. And if you say you are going to do something, own it & deliver!
3. Say a big fat “Hi” in the morning.
Do you skulk into the office, averting eyes, shoulders slumped, slump down in your chair and immediately start work? Or worse still, do you scurry past in a hurry whilst yapping on your phone, merely acknowledging other people around you. If so, you’re likely to find that co-workers start to ignore you. Get into the habit of smiling and greeting everyone as you arrive in the morning. It’s amazing how little effort it takes for maximum recognition.
4. Learn the art of small talk.
Ask your co-workers about their interests – their favorite music, films, books, hobbies family, pets, and football team – the list is endless. Showing a genuine interest in them will make them feel comfortable around you. Talk about your life outside the office occasionally as well to remind others, were people, not just employees/team members.
5. Ask what they think.
People love to be asked their opinion, so go out of your way to ask, “What do you think of this or that?” or “How do you think I should handle this situation with X Y or Z?” Then give the advice-giver a sincere thank you, even if the ideas are, let’s say, less than helpful.
6. Spread some love.
You don’t have to be a Pollyanna skipping all over the pace, but try to perform one kind act per week. You could bring in cupcakes for no reason. Another week, it might be a card for a co-worker – maybe a thank-you note for helping you out the week before, or a funny card for a co-worker who seems to be a bit down. It can be as simple as a ‘thank you” post it note on a pc screen – it’s the thought that matters here.
7. Return calls and e-mails promptly.
To win friends at work, a good place to start is good office etiquette. There’s nothing more frustrating to busy people than to have their e-mails and phone messages seemingly ignored. Your silence doesn’t just make their job harder to do; it also conveys an unpleasant message to them: you’re unimportant to me and so is whatever you need from me.
8. Give credit where credit is due.
Don’t withhold credit from others. Embrace the attitude that we all win together, and let others know when someone has done something above and beyond the call of duty or performed well. Also, if someone incorrectly gives you credit and praise, acknowledge your co-worker who does deserve the high five! It will reflect on you well & you’ll be remembered for the gesture.
9. Respect other people’s time.
Always be on time. Doesn’t matter for who or what reason. If you have agreed to a commitment, honor it by being punctual. Always be on time, it shows you respect other people’s time. And let’s face it, you’ll run late occasionally, a quick text or phone call heads up is the very least you can do.
10. Assume the positive about what you don’t know
Managers are clueless, we’re working way harder than anyone else in the building, no one understands what we do – they must be all idiots etc etc. Isn’t it amazing how a team of usually happy individuals can suddenly breed negativity? It’s a negative attitude that is contagious and makes work become miserable. Believe both in the work you’re doing and the organisation you’re doing it for. If you can’t, perhaps it’s time to move on…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melinda Tunbridge is the current Director Human Resources for the Special Broadcasting Service ( SBS ).
Mel’s HR career spans 15 years, holding senior HR leadership roles within News Limited, Tabcorp Holdings, Jupiter’s Ltd & various State & Federal public organisations. She has also held executive operational positions outside of HR.
A thought provoking & proactive HR practitioner who prides herself in asking the tough questions and challenging the status quo. Mel’s approach is innovative and pragmatic, recognising the imperative of demonstrating ROI & commerciality in all HR activities. Her qualifications include a BA of Science, Masters Human Resources, Masters Industrial Relations, & an MBA.
Mel is married with a gorgeous baby girl named Eloise.