Monday 26 April 2021

Ways to deal with jealousy at work

When the green-eyed monster rears its head at work, it can have a serious impact on your mental wellbeing as well as creating conflict in the workplace. But how can you recognise when someone is jealous of you and what can you do to put a stop to their bullying tactics?

There are many reasons why a colleague, or even a manager may feel jealousy towards you:

  • Your appearance
  • Your success at work
  • Your popularity and relationships with other colleagues
  • You earn more money than them
  • They want your job
  • Your personal life

Initially, their jealousy might go unnoticed but the more the person compares themselves to you, resentment can quickly creep in. This can be extremely damaging to everyone involved especially if the person wants to create problems for you at work.

Dealing with a jealous colleague

To begin with, you might question yourself about whether you’re reading too much into a person’s behaviour but after a while, their jealousy will become more evident. Here are some actions you can take to nip it in the bud:

If you’ve become the subject of gossip or you’re suddenly finding yourself being excluded from work activities, you could find that the person at the centre of it all has an ulterior motive. This can be really upsetting and might make you question yourself, which can lead to feelings of rejection and loneliness.

Remember, workplace gossip and exclusion are forms of bullying and shouldn’t be tolerated. Firstly, speak to your manager about how you’re feeling, but if you prefer not to notify management straight away, try talking to the person that is instigating this behaviour. Speak calmly, try not to appear defensive and explain that you’ve noticed the rift and ask if they have a reason for acting this way. By doing this you’re showing maturity as well as letting the person know that you are aware of their actions. The chances are they might deny their jealousy, but if you suggest working together positively in the interests of the company, it could put an end to any future incidents.

Although you might be over the moon about a recent promotion or pay rise, not everyone will be happy to hear it! To avoid any jealous reactions from colleagues, perhaps keep the good news between yourself and close friends who are more likely to celebrate your successes.

Another great way to tackle jealous behaviour is by making the offender feel included. Everyone loves a compliment so find things that you can praise them for. Jealousy tends to be triggered by insecurity so by making them feel good about themselves, you can become their ally rather than their enemy.

Try not to take it personally

Even though it might feel as though you’re being singled out, try to understand that the person might be reacting in a certain way because they are unhappy in themselves. Try not to react negatively to their behaviour as this could add fuel to the fire and might even end up making other colleagues disrespect you. Rise above the jealousy and, if anything, take it as a compliment.

In this article published by Science Daily, it refers to a study undertaken by Joel Koopman from the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business who investigated the causes of envy in the workplace. It’s an interesting read and gives a deeper understanding of jealousy issues.

Monday 19 April 2021

Inspiring your workforce

There’s no question this past year has been a tough one, leaving many of us feeling anxious, stressed and suffering from depression. It’s no surprise that motivation levels may have fallen through the floor, but what can you do to inspire and motivate your workforce?

It’s most likely your employees won’t thank you for toughening targets and deadlines, yet for your business to succeed, you still need to see a certain level of achievement from your team. Some of your employees might be working from home while some might still be furloughed but there are ways to inspire them without being insensitive to their current situation.

More than anything, most people need to feel valued so by taking a few steps to show your appreciation for the work they do, you can instil a more positive attitude and enhanced wellbeing.

Show appreciation

You don’t have to spend the entire company budget, just a small gesture such as an email or letter thanking your team for their contributions can have a positive effect. Make sure each message is personal and relates to their individual performance rather than the company as a whole.

Equip your team

If you have staff that work from home, ensure they have all the equipment they need to perform their job to the best of their ability. Trying to work with inadequate equipment can increase stress levels and decrease motivation.

Encourage personal interaction

Stay engaged with your employees and encourage them to interact with one another so that they continue to make social connections. It doesn’t always have to be work related either; a monthly online quiz or catch-up chat via video calls can uplift peoples’ spirits and make them feel valued.

Be genuinely caring

Have regular one-to-one chats with your team to check in on their mental health. Knowing that your boss sincerely cares about your wellbeing is one of the greatest motivators and is much more likely to inspire you than being reprimanded for any under-performance.

Be a motivational teacher 

Successful leaders lead by example so it’s equally as important to look after your own mental health in order to teach and inspire without lecturing.

Listen to your employees

Take on board what your employees have to say. If they have ideas for their role or the company, consider how you can help implement them and don’t dismiss them before you’ve even taken the time to consider them properly.

Utilise the talents and skills of your team

By allowing someone to play to their strengths, they will more likely want to prove their abilities and work harder to succeed. It might be the case that you allocate tasks they wouldn’t normally undertake, but this can inspire personal growth and you might just find that their skills are better placed elsewhere in the company.

Nurture don’t micro-manage

The moment an employee feels that their every move is being scrutinised, they’ll start to feel under pressure and afraid to take risks. By giving staff the freedom to take control and accountability for the work they do, they will grow in confidence and want to step up to the mark.

For more information on how to inspire your workforce, check out this handy study and guide from Motivates.