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3 Biggest Mistakes in the Workplace

Posted by Jessica Miller-Merrell

biggest mistakes workplace

There are three areas that create the most drama in the workplace and are the biggest root causes of unproductive workplace practices. Focusing on each of these three challenge areas will allow your company to grow in a more dynamic and fruitful way. These three areas are: office politics, corporate culture, and technology. Some would say that these are the three elements that can make or break your company. Let’s look at each of them to see how they can cause problems, and the best ways to take charge of them.

Office Politics

Although nobody likes office politics, it’s been going on since the dawn of modern working life. There’s always been that tension of constantly needing to please someone in order to get the work done. Employees simply want to do their jobs without having to be bribed or blackmailed. It’s a key piece to having a successful workplace.

Office politics can weigh down your corporate culture and destroy productivity in the office. In order to get control over office politics, you need to create a system of accountability that will limit the power it has in your workplace. Office politics play into how your company culture is viewed, and can ultimately destroy your ability to hire top talent. Letting office politics do this to your workplace is one of the three biggest mistakes you can make.

Company Culture

We’ve all seen the lists out there that rate companies on how good their culture is, and noticed the effect that it has on their hiring practices. And those companies that don’t necessarily care about their employees or culture may notice a big gap in the talent they’re attracting. Company culture not only helps with retention, but it makes recruiters’ jobs easier.

Take companies like Google, Apple, or Facebook. Everyone wants to work for these companies because their company culture is well-known to be fantastic. They get millions of applications a year, and only a miniscule percentage of the people who apply actually get jobs. This is in large part due to their company culture, since it dictates how potential candidates view these companies and whether they want to work for them. When a company’s culture goes wrong, recruiters not only have a hard time recruiting top talent, but old and new employees won’t stay long because of the atmosphere and how they are treated.

Technology

The third biggest mistake that companies can make in the workplace is having insufficient technology. Technology is what makes a company work, and it’s ultimately what attracts and keeps customers. For instance, when a customer calls in with a specific problem and your company has the technology available to fix it, you’ll be able to solve their issues much more efficiently. On the flip side, in order for employees to do their job well, it’s important to have the right technology, whether in the form of the tools they need to do their job properly or the proper infrastructure in place to support simple day-to-day tasks (a secure Internet connection, solid product database, etc.)

Understanding how to manage these three areas and avoid making these mistakes will enable your company to be much more successful. When these three pieces of the workplace puzzle are put together, they make everything else fall into place.

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About Jessica Miller-Merrell

Author

Jessica is listed as the 2nd most influential recruiter online and as the 8th most powerful woman on Twitter. She is the author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, a how-to business guide for Twitter users. She also writes for a number of leading publications, including Fortune, HR Magazine, SmartBrief, and HR Executive Magazine.

6 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Ann Ashley November, 14, 2014

    Regarding company culture, a frequent mistake that I’ve noticed is that many new employees are trying to make changes in their new workplace without knowing the environment well enough. When someone starts a new job, he or she should first understand the company culture before making changes. People should know that approaching change like this is a big mistake – first, find out the history of your company, analyze what worked right and what worked wrong, and then make a strategy to implement your changes.

  • Hailay Anderson November, 17, 2014

    Insufficient technology can diminish the productivity of any company despite its having top employees. Nowadays, technology allows companies to expand quickly and efficiently. Workplace boundaries have been removed by using video conferencing, social networks, and virtual office technology. Due to all of these, companies have access to a wider customer base and can develop to higher levels.

  • Scarlett November, 19, 2014

    Office politics can bring advantages, as long as someone doesn’t play into them too much. Nowadays, employees are looking for transparency, openness, and genuineness. If someone is too political in managing his or her work relationships, people can become a little bit suspicious.

  • Sasha December, 09, 2014

    Adaptability to Change Management and Culture is a challenging task for any new company on the rise. The road map from what it takes to- where we want to be, is to be predefined and Streamlined to Organizational Vision,only then can it shape an outcome which is strategically predetermined!!! It has to encompass both Employee and Employer’s focus, strengths and weakness.

  • Shelly Davis December, 15, 2014

    I have always had a great credit score, in the upper 700. A couple years ago, I finished my Masters and decided to transition into a career path that was something I actually enjoyed. The last 2 yrs I have had difficulty gaining full time stable work, so my credit score has been greatly impacted. I have had some great potential job interviews, and then something happens? I have been made aware that your credit is checked? How can I get a good job and start repairing my credit when that is the deciding factor? HELP!

  • Susan D. August, 15, 2015

    Office politics (gossip, backstabbing, the power of the informal power structure over the formal power structure) and company culture gone wrong (egos ahead of accomplishments and goals, lack of cross-unit cooperation, jealousy of doers, etc.) are two sides of the same coin and are powerful causes of workplace failures and stagnation. Commitment to overall goals, management oversight, and walking the walk and talking the talk, from the top down may help.

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Guest August, 15, 2015