Most people understand the importance of building strong relationships in their personal lives. Without friends and family, you’d not only be lonely, but you’d also have a hard time dealing with life’s events.
The same goes for your work life. If you want to succeed on the job, you need the support and respect of your co-workers. After all, you never know when you’ll be asked to partner with someone on a project or need a helping hand from a colleague to meet a tight deadline. Having good relationships at work also make it more pleasant to be at the office.
Here are eight ways to build good karma at work:
1. Be friendly
Your reputation isn’t formed solely by the quality of your work. Your attitude also factors in. Smiling and saying hello to those you pass in the halls is an easy way to project a friendly and positive attitude. Other small steps, like opening the door and holding the elevator for co-workers can go a long way. After all, people want to work with those they like.
2. Offer a helping hand
It’s certainly nice to take a break and relax between assignments, but if you can tell that a co-worker is stressing out over a big project while you’re kicking back, offer to give him or her a hand. Your colleague will remember your gesture the next time you need assistance.
3. Volunteer for an unwanted project
Sure, it may not be a lot of fun. But if you raise your hand, you’ll develop a reputation as a team player, and you’re likely to build new skills in the process. Bonus: These types of projects are sometimes near and dear to a manager’s heart, and stepping up can be a good way to distinguish yourself in your supervisor’s eyes.
4. Leave things better than when you found them
Don’t be the person who makes other people’s jobs more tedious. For example, clean up after yourself in the break room. In a recent survey by Robert Half International, leaving a mess was cited as the most annoying break-room behavior by workers polled.
Another way to fill your karma bank: Refill the printer when it runs out of paper. Pull the jammed paper from the copier and get it back online. If you can’t fix a piece of equipment you’ve broken, promptly report the problem to someone who can.
5. Be aware of your annoying habits
Do your best to avoid irritating your co-workers, especially if you work in an open environment where people are in close proximity to one another. For example, if you like to listen to music at your desk, use headphones. Avoid using speakerphone unless absolutely necessary; it can make it hard for others to concentrate. And if you like to have tuna salad for lunch, don’t eat at your desk, for obvious reasons.
6. Invite the new guy (or girl) to lunch
You remember how you felt on your first day in the office, not knowing anyone and wondering about everything from where the office supplies were located to how to use the fax machine. Help out a new colleague by inviting him or her to lunch so you can explain the unwritten rules of the office and answer any questions your co-worker has. Chances are, this small act of kindness will be remembered.
You may be certain that your idea for solving a sticky problem is the best one, but it never hurts to hear what your co-workers have to say before pushing your point. Showing respect for others’ ideas will let them know you value their opinions. In addition, you might be able to build on their thoughts to come up with a solution superior to the one you came up with on your own.
8. Recognize people’s efforts
This may be the most important rule of all. When a co-worker helps you out or makes your job easier, say thank you. If his or her efforts were outstanding, let the boss know. Your colleagues will be much more likely to assist you on your next project if you made them feel good about their work on the last one.
One final piece of advice: Remember the Golden Rule when interacting with others in the office. Treating people as you’d like to be treated will help ensure you build a reputation as a pleasant, helpful colleague
About Robert Half International
Founded in 1948, Robert Half International, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, is a recognized leader in professional staffing services. The company’s specialized staffing divisions include Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R) Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam(R), for highly skilled temporary administrative support personnel; Robert Half(R) Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half(R) Legal, for legal personnel; and The Creative Group(R), for advertising, marketing and web professionals. Robert Half International has staffing and consulting operations in more than 400 locations worldwide.