Barrel with poisonA Conference Board research study published in 2010 stated that a mere 56% of people like their co-workers vs. the 1987 percentage of 68%.  That means (excuse me for stating the obvious) that there are 44% of people out there who aren’t happy with their co-workers.  I’d be willing to bet that given today’s economic conditions, the percentage will remain similar this year, or even be a bit worse.

So, if the average person is awake 112 hours per week and works during 40 of those (increase working hours for kitchen & bath industry career), 44% of people don’t enjoy the people they’re around at least 36% of the time.  How’s that for your fun/depressing fact of the day?

Unfortunately for some, the coworker with the annoying voice and the recognition seeker don’t automatically get qualified for a trip to HR, but there are other employees that affect business around them through negativity, gossip, harassment or even hygienic negligence (eew).  So, what should you do if you encounter one of these “toxic” co-worker in your cabinet dealership?

Take action to improve your work life

If you encounter a coworker who is negatively affecting your work environment due to a certain behavior, there are steps to be taken.

  • Determine the behavior – Note what they’re doing that you don’t like, and whether it is affecting you and your work. Remember to leave personal opinions and prejudices at home (or better yet, abolish them completely).
  • Make a decision – Decide if the issue is something that can be resolved without involving management.  For instance, if another kitchen salesperson is constantly whistling, talking loudly or playing disruptive music, they may not even realize they’re disturbing anyone.  In these cases, kindly ask them to make a conscious effort to address their habits.
  • Do your research – Find out whether their behaviors are violating the rules set forth in your cabinet dealership employee handbook, and if so, remind them (if you feel comfortable doing so).
  • Notify management – If you are uncomfortable addressing the issues with the individual, or you’ve done so and they continue to violate the rules, privately speak with your manager or human resources department so that they can address the situation.
  • Keep written documentation – Keep track of instances when this employee made you uncomfortable or interfered with your productivity in case you need to refer back to them with management at any point.  Make sure you keep this book with you so that it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

With the amount of time you spend at the dealership, you want to make sure your working conditions are optimal.  If you’re unhappy at work due to the behaviors of another designer, kitchen cabinet salesperson, contractor, warehouse worker, etc., take professional steps to fix the situation.  It’s better to address the problem now than to have it interfere with your productivity any longer.

Click here to read part two of the series.

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