How You Know When It’s Time To Go

Some people are so certain it’s time to go that they have enough chutzpah to video their rapping dancing resignation, encourage it to go viral on YouTube and then luckily get hired by Queen Latifah a week later.

Perhaps you’re wondering — hmmmm... am I there yet? How do you know?

A work relationship is damaged beyond repair

A lack of trust and confidence can create a chasm so deep that it cannot be surmounted. Step back and observe the relationship. Is there anything of value that keeps you connected? Can it be saved? Have you exhausted every avenue? If you have not, what will you do to make a valiant effort?

At the Applied Companies, we would hope our employees would take all avenues necessary to rectify the situation.

Your personal life has changed

The big ones have come into play — death, divorce, children, injury or illness. If you are under different circumstances than when you were hired, the opportunity for conflicting priority arises.

Remember when you were single and didn’t have a life? Then, when you graduated from college, got married and then you dropped from 60 hours a week to 40 for a better quality of life and your boss couldn’t understand? It’s okay. Priorities change.

Your values are at odds with the company values

When you physically do not feel well, with that nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach, and you dread walking through the office door every day, it’s time.

You have identified ethical issues, assessed that you cannot be part of the activity in question, and there are expectations not acceptable within your limits or your morality and staying would compromise your values.

You stopped having fun

Why? Are you not challenged? Have you become complacent? Is your role relevant? Have your achievements been recognized? Are you making excuses? Is it your responsibility to have fun and make your job challenging, meaningful and rewarding? Can you learn to have fun again and find a new aspect of your work, ask for a promotion, a new position or volunteer related to your company’s corporate social responsibility activities?

The end of the road

If you have not seen change after going to management and you have mentally checked out, then prepare to go.

We do not recommend making a video. Your company culture might be welcoming. It might be led by fear. Take the high road with open, honest and professional communication.

Oh, and here’s a lifesaving tip: Be sure to talk to your spouse or significant other first. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Written by Jim Annis President/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Tom Miller and Suzanne Chennault, Applied’s division directors, contributed to this article.

How to Handle a Negative Co-Worker

Your co-workers, Negative Nancy and her counterpart Negative Nelson, are walking down the hall. You try to hide. Too late. They’ve spotted you! You brace for a gripe session and hope it doesn’t last the lunch hour. How do you handle negative co-workers besides jumping into the broom closet? Here are some tips.

Determine if the Shoe Fits Permanently 

Assess whether you have a personality versus attitude problem on your hands. In our HR experience, we’ve found that personalities are permanent. Some people are just negative and suck the energy out of every environment. These are the, “She woke up and wanted to kick the dog rather than pet the dog” people. Attitudes however, can change with the environment. Employees may exhibit a temporary attitude due to multiple reasons, including a lack of understanding about their job, a lack of trust, or they may have experienced a series of negative occurrences like their coffee spilled, plus the car broke down, and they had an argument with their spouse.

Identify Legitimate Reasons

Listen carefully. There could be legitimate issues company-wide that Negative Nancy may have her pulse on. If she is a representation of the opinions of multiple people, you may have an opportunity to change the company as a whole for the good…if you desire.

Remove the Sounding Board

Perhaps you simply look empathetic. Take control and make yours an active versus passive role. The master of negative personalities will address, ignore, divert and/or delay. Pay Nancy or Nelson a compliment. Change the environment with, “Hey let’s go for a walk!” Ask the following questions, and put the responsibility back on them: “Are you just looking for someone to vent to? Do you want to explore solutions? How can I support you?”

Set boundaries

Take courage. Define your boundaries. If Nancy or Nelson wants to bend your ear, give them a time limit like “You have five minutes,” and after that time cease listening then require a solution. Explain how their negativity affects you, and that you all need to come to common ground about how to handle the venting sessions before hand. For those who send negative email, simply delete them and do not respond.

Seek Assistance

Negativity festers in the workplace. If you determine that Nancy and Nelson are that way on a permanent basis, ask HR for some help.

Rely on the stated values of your company. When people start complaining about the complainers, it’s time for action. You as an individual employee can make the difference.

Written by Jim Annis President/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Tom Miller, and Suzanne Chennault, Applied’s division directors, contributed to this article.