Ignoring the company culture
Everywhere in the world, there are laws which organize the place people live in. Inside your home there are many. Do not you think so? OK! Let us consider this situation:
During the summer vacation, it happens to many families to be visited by their relatives or friends. Sometimes some friends come to spend several days at your home, when they are unable to find somewhere to stay in, or your parents just invite them to spend a vacation or a holiday or even a celebration.
Once they reach your home, you begin to see the differences between what you do and what they do. The way you treat the toilet stuff is not their way. Maybe they eat differently and order. It can also happen that your family waits for the maid to organize the house or to clean some parts of it, while those visitors are much more organized than you are, and they wash the dishes themselves!
The idea is that people are living in their homes according to the education they took from their parents, and education is a set of Dos and Don’ts. If yours always yell at you so as not to leave the house without switching all the lights off, you need to know that it is one of the unwritten rules of your home. The list exceeds the lights. It goes beyond that to the way you talk, the words you are not allowed to say at home, the type of friends you should not invite, etc.
All these are unwritten rules or laws of a specific area, which is where you live, in this situation. In other places like a stadium, gym, swimming pool, etc. there are written and unwritten rules or laws. Therefore, you have to remark and take the unwritten rules of the company you are taking training in into consideration with your fullest awareness.
In what follows we list some elements of the workplace policy:
Knocking the door before entering:
This takes place in the company I have been working in. It was initiated by the PDG himself, who always knocks, before he opens the door and gets into the office. He is a well-educated man with a very high level of respect towards his employees. He never entered without knocking, although he has the keys and the company is HIS.
This behavior is a very intelligent action from his end to make the atmosphere more familial, or the least stressed possible. With a small gesture with the back of one of his fingers, he set up the level of respect which still takes place in the company.
This habit was not that hard to take, since in our families we all use it. At work now, when I got to the office and knocked the door before opening it, I started feeling as if I had been entering into my family home.
This gesture makes us feel ourselves our houses and, therefore, leave stress outside and act as friendly as possible. The behavior gives colleagues the idea that those working with them are family members and not just co-workers.
Thus, in companies, in which employees knock the door, be it the general one or private office rooms, all you have to do is to act the same. You will find some employees not doing that. If you do so, you are already showing a high level of respect for those who work with you. They will call you “a respectful person”.
Where to eat: The second unwritten law is the accurate place to eat in. Some companies do not allow their employees to eat in their office rooms. It can be because the maid does not visit the company several times a week.
Another reason for this forbiddance can be that the company witnessed a previous problem like food poisoning inside its headquarters and decided that it should never happen again. A possible cause is that some people who already work in the company just do not like to smell the food odor when they are working.
If someone tells you, either directly or indirectly, not to bring food to your desk, or if you remark that everybody just goes outside to eat, please just do not eat inside the workplace. It might be an agreed upon the rule set up before you started the training. You do not want to be told that. You should remark it yourself. The level of your attentiveness has to be high enough to capture what goes around you. I believe you can! Many companies have kitchens. Sometimes the weather is bad, and employees do not get out during their breaks. They can take their meals in such places. If the kitchen is available, please use it. This is at least safer than breaking a hidden rule.
Using the phone: Some companies prohibit the use of mobile phones inside the workplace. (Please see chapter: The Massive Use of Mobile Phone.)
Taking a nap on the office desk: Some companies DO ask their employees to take a nap at noon. Others allow them to take it whenever they feel tired, while a big number refuse such an action inside their headquarters. It is considered to be disrespectful, so you need to be aware of what you are allowed to do. Laws in some countries guarantee that an employee has the right to do whatever they want during his break, as long as not bothering his colleagues. I do not think it is logical that a customer comes to a company, especially a small office, and finds one of the employees sleeping on his desk.
It is accepted in some companies, but in most ones, it is not. Not all those rules are written in the job description or told to trainees on the first day. If you need to detect them, you should:
- Ask about what is not allowed,
- Be with colleagues all the time,
- See what people do,
- Listen when someone is complaining.
One last thing to conclude this chapter with is to ask you, gently, to communicate these rules with trainees who will join the company you are taking training in. Please help them with all the information they need and are in this chapter, and help them work more easily. I count on you!