Common Workplace Challenges to Watch Out For
The average person spends approximately 90,000 hours of their entire life at work. That is roughly 1/3 of a person’s life. Regardless of the figures, it’s safe to say that our jobs play a very important role in our lives and affect us in many ways – physically, mentally, emotionally, and of course financially.
The workplace can either be a great source of productivity and flow, or a constant source of negativity and stress. While our attitude also plays a key role in it, external circumstances naturally help shape our overall workplace experiences, too. Because it’s impossible to find a perfect, conflict-free workplace, conflict will always be a reality of work-life experience.
Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing as well. It can be good for the right reasons and still healthy up to a certain point. People have their differences that they need to sort out in order to work together. As long as humans continue to go to work, and make up a workplace, conflicts and their resolution will naturally be part of the picture.
Here are eight of the most common workplace challenges everyone needs to watch out for.
Conflict Between People
Conflict is an inevitable part of working with different people. People are not robots and will have different ideas and thought processes. In the workplace, you’ll come across so many types of people, and one thing you will all have in common is your differences. The main thing that causes conflict in the first place is differences, which you need to acknowledge as part of any workplace reality.
However, being unable to manage conflict in a healthy way can begin to feel really toxic. If you run into this type of workplace scenario, remember that you don’t have to like everyone you meet at work; it’s impossible to do that. But you can avoid major conflicts and stay productive by working harmoniously with people.
Communication problems are as real in a government office as they in a road-mending crew. Whatever industry you’re in, you’ll likely bump into some communication problems at some point yourself, or be able to witness some challenges caused by poor communication, or a lack of it. Being able to communicate your point clearly is an essential part of work, whatever industry you’re in or whatever nature of job you might have.
At the very least, do not add to the office gossip. Gossiping is never a good habit; it only uses up valuable time supposedly spent working to do something unproductive. You will also find that it is one of the most common things you’ll witness in the workplace.
Popularity doesn’t make it appropriate, though. But people are sometimes helplessly inclined to talk about others for various reasons. Regardless of how you feel about something or someone, it pays to stay professional by not participating in the gossip.
You might think that bullying is so immature and a part of your past high-school experience only, but you’ll be surprised to know how often people at work may resort to bullying just to get their way. It certainly isn’t a novel thing, especially in the workplace.
Make sure you stay fair to other people at work, no matter how tempting it might feel to exercise a sense of power. If you are the victim of bullying, do not tolerate it. Call the person out or seek out the appropriate supervisor and make your case known.
Discrimination is not just a socio-cultural issue but a reality in the workplace, one that contributes to a toxic working environment for many people. As with bullying, be professional and don’t stoop to being part of the problem. If you are a victim of prejudice, speak up.
“People don’t leave jobs; they leave bad bosses and toxic work cultures.” – Anonymous
Company culture is often shaped by its senior leadership and common work practices. These two things define the workplace setting and typical experiences of most employees at work. If the company fails in these aspects, it will likely result in poor productivity, a highly disengaged workforce, as well as high employee turnover.
Low Engagement and Motivation
This is often the net result of most of the areas previously discussed. Individually and collectively, these problems contribute to feelings of not wanting to be there. Managers need to be able to deal with the reality that their people can become so unmotivated that it influences their level of performance.
However, there is always something that a proactive human resources department can do regarding this issue. Reaching out to the unmotivated employees to understand what causes their behavior will go a long way towards a solution.
Of course, there will always be some employees who have a negative attitude to work, bosses, and work colleagues. These individuals can destroy morale if left to their own devices. Their value to the business needs to be weighed against the collective harm they may be causing.
This is related to motivation; however, job dissatisfaction can likely be due to several root causes ranging from job mismatch, insufficient salary, a bad boss or leader. It’s best to get to the root of this issue and address the main causes of job dissatisfaction.
These are just some of the many challenges at work that can likely cause people to become disengaged from their jobs and for their workplace to become a constant source of negativity and stress.