Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #27
10192020Mon
Last updateSat, 17 Oct 2020 8pm

I was disappointed with how some of my staff behaved at last year’s Christmas party. Do you have any tips you can share on how not to behave at the office Christmas party?

Dear Working Wise:

I was disappointed with how some of my staff behaved at last year’s Christmas party. Do you have any tips you can share on how not to behave at the office Christmas party? Signed, Mortified Manager

 

Dear Mortified:

 

The annual office Christmas party can be a lot of fun and great time to bond with your coworkers, make inroads with your clients and get to know your staff or boss a little better.

 

But Ho Ho Hold on, it’s also filled with opportunities to embarrass yourself and disappoint the people you work with every day.

 

A survey by OfficeSMART in the U.K. found that 29 per cent of respondents regretted something they did at a recent office party.

 

Good judgment is one of the most important attributes you can have—especially as you move into management roles.

 

How to stay off your boss’s naughty list:

1.      You’re still at work—the party may be in a banquet room at the local Holiday Inn, but you should behave like you are still at work.

2.      Arrive on time in a festive mood, mingle with as many people as you can, and don’t be the last to leave—just like at work.

3.      Avoid confrontations, flirting and gossiping—a party is the perfect time to get caught gossiping.

4.      Don’t complain about the party or your job – you don’t want to appear ungrateful for either.

5.      Watch your humour and avoid controversial topics.

6.      Take it easy on the rum and eggnog—avoid becoming a cautionary example.

7.      Put down the lampshade—camera phones and Facebook can eternalize brief lapses in judgment for everyone to enjoy including future employers.

8.      Thank your boss for the party, even if it wasn’t that great.

9.      Don’t wear anything too flashy, revealing or casual. You have to work with these people on Monday morning and you might be meeting their spouses. If you’re not sure what to wear, check the dress code with the host.

10.  Socialize—use the party as an opportunity to visit with your coworkers, clients and boss. This is a great time to thank your coworkers for their help over the past year, talk about the coming business year with your clients or discuss a shared interest with your boss.

11.  Know their names—if you’re bad with names and it’s your Christmas party, take a few minutes to write down the names of key people and their spouses before the party. People are flattered when you remember their name and insulted when you forget. This will also help you avoid that awkward moment when your spouse is expecting you to introduce them and you can’t.

 

Enjoy the party and show everyone that you’re a class act!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Albert Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 


We have a tip jar at the cash register where I work, but the coffee shop owner splits the tips with us. Is the store owner allowed to do that? Aren’t tips supposed to be for the staff who provide good service? Signed, Tipped Off

Dear Working Wise:

We have a tip jar at the cash register where I work, but the coffee shop owner splits the tips with us. Is the store owner allowed to do that? Aren’t tips supposed to be for the staff who provide good service? Signed, Tipped Off

 

Dear Tipped Off:

 

I’m sorry that I don’t have better news for you, but tips are not considered to be wages under Alberta’s Employment Standards Code.

 

How tips are handled in your workplace is a decision between you and your employer.

 

That’s why it’s important to discuss all the terms of employment—including tips—before you accept a new job.

 

If it’s really bothering you, try talking to your employer about it—they might be willing to change their policy.

 

Employers have a vested interest in seeing that you are happy and satisfied at work, because they trust you to handle their cash and keep their customers coming back.

 

If you don’t believe your employer is living up to your original agreement or if you believe you are not receiving tips that are intended for you, one option could be to explore the possibility of legal action through the courts. For more information on accessing the courts, visit www.albertacourts.ab.ca.

 

Although tips are not considered to be wages under the Employment Standards Code, they are still considered earnings and must be claimed as income on your income tax return—this includes your employer. For more information on tips and their tax implications, visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

 

Your situation provides a valuable lesson to all employees: be sure you discuss and clearly understand all the terms and conditions of employment before you take a new job.

 

If you are still not satisfied with your job after talking to your employer, you might want to consider looking for a new job.

 

You can drop by your nearest Alberta Works Centre and get help looking for a new job or get information on upgrading your skills so that you can get a better-paying job. To find the centre nearest you, visit http://employment.alberta.ca/offices.

 

For more tips and questions to ask when negotiating job offers, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at http://alis.alberta.ca and search the tip sheets for Handling Job Offers.

 

Good luck negotiating your next job offer!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

I just started a new job as a temporary employee. I like the job and my supervisor said that some of the temp staff may be hired on full time if business picks up.

Dear Working Wise:

I just started a new job as a temporary employee. I like the job and my supervisor said that some of the temp staff may be hired on full time if business picks up. Do you have any tips to help me get on full time? Signed Tenacious Temp

 

Dear Tenacious:

 

Congratulations on the new job! Temporary positions do sometimes lead to full-time jobs—especially when the employee demonstrates the following attributes.

 

Be Reliable

o   Be on time and maintain good attendance.

o   Call if you’re going to be late or can’t make it to work.

o   Keep your promises and complete your tasks on time.

o   Be honest and trustworthy.

o   Stay healthy – physically and mentally.

 

Be Professional

o   Dress appropriately for your workplace.

o   Keep your skills and training current.

o   Double-check the quality of your own work.

o   Stay organized and keep your work area tidy.

o   Take responsibility for your mistakes.

o   Know your job and how to do it properly.

o   Respect your boss and co-workers - avoid distractions (e.g., cell phone) and side conversations during meetings.

o   Avoid excessive gossiping, personal e-mails, phone calls and web browsing.

o   Don’t share colourful stories from your personal life at work.

o   Don’t complain about your job, boss or co-workers on your Facebook page or blog.

o   Ask for help if you need it—recognizing your limits is a sign of maturity.

 

Be Proactive

o   Learn all you can about the organization.

o   Offer your boss ideas on how you can contribute more.

o   Look for things that need to be done, but check with your boss first to ensure he/she notices your initiative and agrees that it’s a priority.

o   Try to make your boss’s job easier by anticipating what they will want or need.

o   Learn more about the jobs of the people around you.

o   Learn a skill that will help you stand out, e.g., become the department proofreader or the department expert on a specific computer program.

o   Earn a new credential/license/ticket/certification that makes you more valuable.

o   Ask if you don’t know how to do something. Asking shows that you want to do things right and that you’re willing to learn.

o   Work safely.

 

Be a Team Player

o   Help your co-workers with their projects if asked by your boss. You will learn something new and gain a reputation as a helpful co-worker and employee.

o   Be willing to share information.

o   Support and encourage your co-workers.

 

Be Positive

o   Maintain a positive attitude.

o   Be flexible and open to taking on new tasks and learning new skills.

o   Keep learning—new skills and tasks make you a more marketable employee.

 

Employers want loyal, hardworking, conscientious employees. The most effective way to catch your supervisor’s attention is to bring a positive attitude to work with you.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 


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