Avoid the banana skins: How to not to slip up at work

by Human Capital27 Mar 2014
Job success requires more than just participation according to recruitment firm Hays – it also requires an individual to be proactive about their own performance.
 
Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, explained that a successful organisation is one in which individuals are” growing, learning and contributing to its overall goals”. However, employees can slip up by being unaware of their strengths and weaknesses.
 
“It can be easy to see the strengths and weaknesses of other people you work with, but it's always harder to critique ourselves,” he said.
 
Individuals having trouble figuring out how they can improve at work should ask a close co-workers or manager for honest feedback according to Walker. This will provide ideas on what is expected and any weak areas that they need to work on.
  
“It’s important to let people know that you want to fix the issue and discuss what needs to be changed,” Deligiannis added.
 
Slipping on workplace ‘banana skins can also see career progression slip from an individual’s grasp. Hays recommends the following advice for avoiding these ‘banana skins’ and maintaining workplace success:
 
1.    Understand your employer's expectations – Make sure you understand your company’s culture and are familiar with the values of the company so that you can demonstrate them effectively.

2.    Staying positive – Maintain a balanced viewpoint and resist the urge to complain to co-workers about your boss or your job. Complaints can make their way to those higher in the organisation so instead, find the right channels to suggest improvements.

3.    Being a team player – While personal goals are important team players get noticed and often advance faster than those with a more self-centred approach.

4.    Willingness to take on extra duties – Try to volunteer for extra responsibilities. People who excel in their workplace often go above and beyond what they're asked to do.

5.    Avoid gossip – Refrain from sharing personal or company information with your co-workers. Be especially conscious of this when attending company parties or outings where alcohol is served.

6.    Good manners in the office – Respect shared office space by keeping voice volume low on the phone and in person. Try to speak directly to co-workers as it helps develop closer working relationships.

7.    Keep your personal life out of the office – Keep personal calls and emails to a minimum. Leave errands for lunchtime or when you're away from work. Don't share intimate details of your social life over the water cooler or in the office kitchen.

8.    Personal business on work technology – Avoid using work computers and phones for personal emails and text messages. Also remember venting about your workplace or boss on social media is dangerous as they can be read by anyone.

9.    Arriving on time – While most employers are prepared to be flexible, try to stick to agreed hours of work. It sends a message you are dependable.

10.  Meeting deadlines – Always meet deadlines; failure to do so may have a knock-on effect throughout the company. Be sure to talk with your boss if you believe you won’t be able to make a deadline. 

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