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INSIGHT

Don’t take anything for granted

By Steve M. Cohen  bio

Both managers and employees should keep in mind that taking things for granted is usually a mistake.

Although the psychology is fascinating, from a workplace perspective a key point is that you shouldn’t dismiss something unless you’re absolutely sure you have a replacement.

That goes for a job, and it goes for good employees. Neither should be taken for granted.

For anyone who works for someone else, there’s always a tendency to take your situation for granted. I would note four common signs that you (or your boss or your coworkers) are taking the job for granted and what those actions inadvertently say to others:

  1. Tardiness… “It really doesn’t matter to me who has to wait.”
  1. Not responding to emails… “I’m just not that into working here.”
  1. Outdated voice mail greeting… “I don’t care anymore.”
  1. Constant complaining… “I don’t need this job.”

When you find yourself feeling restless or unfulfilled, try to focus on the positive aspects of your job. Take a new look at the job and search for creative ways to contribute or to support others you work with. In an economy that’s still tepid, having a job and the financial and emotional stability it provides—including other perks such as health insurance or other benefits—is a safety net that allows you to cope with and handle many other challenges of life.

Employers and managers often get a pass on this topic, but they shouldn’t. Especially as the economy improves and other businesses grow, openings will invariably be filled by stealing the best. That’s reality.

Some managers react with a negative strategy. They load up staff with work and stress, while providing few motivations, even recognition and appreciation. These owners and managers assume their employees have no place else to go.

This has brought about so much resentment and distain that one statistic indicated that as much as 64 percent of the current workforce are ready to leave their employers as soon as a viable alternative job opportunity presents itself. Wow! Almost two out of every three employees are fed up with their current employer! That’s increasingly wrong.

To avoid losing your best and brightest, I suggest a strategy that is aligned with a culture of recognizing employees as far more than interchangeable functionaries. By seeing and treating employees with respect and appreciation for their engagement, retaining them will be far more likely.

Related to all of this is an emphasis on two-way communications with staff members. That’s not easy for anyone, and for busy managers, time can be among their most valuable commodities. But even a few minutes each day to foster better communications with their staff can pay big dividends.

Communications can help other workplace environment issues. When management is accessible and sharing its most valuable commodity—time and attention—more people become engaged in their work, which can pay enormous productivity dividends. The potential is staggering.


Steve M. Cohen, Ed.D., CMC is President/Partner of Labor Management Advisory Group, Inc. and HR Solutions: On-Call, both based in Kansas City, MO. For more information, visit www.laborgroup.com or call (913) 927-0229.


The above information is shared by a guest contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Medical Office Manager.

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