Thursday, 24 July 2014

Working Effectively in the Workplace - An Employability Skill.

It is the time of year when many are entering the bewildering world of work for the first time. Below is an excerpt from Chapter Three. Skills for Employability Part One: Pre-Employment. A user-friendly workbook where you can work at your own pace, at a time to suit yourself.

Working effectively in the workplace? Hmm! What does that mean? You may say:
‘I know how to work with other people. I mean, we stand there and chat and take our time with jobs. We have a great laugh. Sometimes, I am a bit late but my pals cover for me until I sneak in.’

Right?  Wrong! Of course, it is important that you enjoy your work but there is more to it than that. Working effectively in the workplace starts when your alarm bell goes off in the morning or someone calls you that it is time to get up.

It is important that you work effectively with your colleagues and supervisors otherwise orders would not be met. Customers would be lost and, in the end, your employer would not be able to pay your wages. You would not have a job anymore. You must be able to show that you are a reliable person to employ. How do you do this?

In this chapter you will learn about:
                       ~ Attitude and behaviour.
          ~Getting to work.
          ~Effective communication.
          ~Working effectively.
Please go to the next page where we will look first at acceptable levels of attitude and behaviour.

Attitude and behaviour.

  In this topic we will cover:
 ~ Behaviour in work.
  ~Following codes of conduct.
  ~Being flexible and adaptable.
  ~Being professional in work.
  ~Thinking about your own approach and attitude in work.

Why is it important to have a positive attitude? Why is it important to behave properly in work and not lark around? Can you think of one or two reasons?


Put your thoughts in the box below. No one is going to mark them. We just want you to start to think about it.

What would happen if you thought you could just turn up, work at a slow speed, waste time and generally be sloppy in work? Well, you wouldn’t last very long! Your colleagues would soon get fed up of covering for you and doing your work. After all they don’t get paid extra to do your work and they have their own timescales and quotas to meet.

If you show a willingness to do whatever task you are given, ask for more work when you have done the tasks given, are friendly and helpful, then you will please your employer/supervisor and soon become a valuable member of the team. You may get more responsible work to do and more pay. That means more goodies in life – nice clothes, holidays, better place to live etc. More importantly, you will have a feeling of achievement and self worth which can only be good for your confidence and self-esteem.

It is hard starting at the bottom or taking a job which you think is beneath you but we all had to start somewhere and sometimes – especially in the case of temporary jobs – it is a kind of long interview so that the firm can see if you fit in.
So be positive and look to the future. Be a ‘Winner’ and look up to where you are going.


Give an example of when your behaviour has been positive
How was it appropriate?

Have you ever volunteered to do something? Y/N

When? How long ago? If not, why not?
Give an example.

Larking around in work or acting in an unsafe way would soon have you up for a talking to and possibly a verbal or written warning. Health and Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility and we will cover this in more detail in Skills for Employability Part Two:Moving into Employment.

I mention it here as it is so important and must be emphasised at the outset. However most workplaces have what we call a Code of Conduct. That is the minimum standard of behaviour expected of you. This may be a formal written document e.g. in larger organisations, or you may just be instructed on do’s and don’ts on your first day. In either case you must follow them. The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWA) 1974 covers employees’ responsibilities and this must by law be posted up where everyone can see. Make sure you read it.

As we leave this topic, there is another aspect of attitude and behaviour which we must talk about. Can you think what it is?

Now discuss this topic face-to-face either with one of your colleagues or fellow students, or in a group, and compare what you have learned. Make some notes.

To read more and prepare for work or to improve your current practice follow the link here to your favourite bookseller or online retailer worldwide in the bookstore. Available in print, Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions *pdf and ePub for iBookstore, Kobo, Nook etc.

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