Category Archives: Happy work environment

Spelling Matters: The Disadvantages of Poor Workplace Grammar

We live in a world filled with text messages, emails and social messages, and since we’re using these mediums at a rapid pace, we tend to put grammar on the backburner. While you may think that intertwining they’re, their and there may not be a big deal, there are actually plenty of disadvantages to using poor grammar in the workplace.

You will not come off as a professional.

When you work, you need to think and act like a professional, and this includes writing like one. When you use correct grammar, your readers will think of you as a professional, but if your writing contains a multitude of major grammatical errors, your readers will not take you seriously, and they certainly will not think of you as a professional.

You could cause confusion.

When you don’t use correct grammar, it’s possible that you will confuse your readers. Depending on the topic or the type of writing being done, this confusion can be very damaging to your career or your company. If your writing confuses other employees about their job responsibilities or the deadlines to their projects, you could end up trying to make major corrections at the eleventh hour. This could be avoided if your grammar was correct in the first place.

You don’t exude quality.

You want your clients, coworkers and bosses to think of you as someone who produces quality work. If your emails are full of misspellings and improper grammar, it’s not going to convey this message. Instead, these individuals will wonder how they can trust you to do a flawless job when you can’t even structure a sentence correctly. This could cause your clients or bosses to look elsewhere when it comes time to having a project completed.

You could get passed up for a promotion.

If you don’t have proper grammar in the workplace, it could look poorly enough on you that you are not considered for a promotion. Many companies are starting to crack down on the grammar of their employees, and if it’s not up to par, the employees are not reaping any rewards, including promotions. Employers look very highly on the use of correct grammar, especially when conducting business with clients. They believe that the way that you communicate is a reflection of the company, and if your communications with clients are filled with misspellings and improper grammar, it’s going to look poorly on the company as a whole. Your employer will blame you for this, and you could find yourself remaining in the same position for the rest of your career.

Grammar plays a bigger role in business than you may want to believe. Even if you’re rushing through email responses, you need to take the time to read through what you’re writing and give it the proper proofreading. You need to make sure that your writing is clear so that everyone who reads it will be on the same page. And most importantly, you want to make sure that it’s correct so that it reflects highly on you.

Garrett Payne is a grammar fanatic and prolific writer.  He constantly stresses the importance of correct grammar and grammar checking in the workplace.

Hotel GB – an experiment

Last week Channel 4 presented us with a weeklong show called Hotel GB which essentially was a hotel set up taking on 14 trainees from all different walks of life who had previously had difficulty in securing jobs, Gordon Ramsay and Mary Portas took the joint general manager roles and worked with the trainees to run the hotel. The aim of the show was to demonstrate that people often overlooked for jobs could be nurtured into successful candidates moving forward and instil some confidence back into the individuals with the hope of infusing some self worth and purpose too. To add some incentive to the show a competition was set for each team to go into contest and secure the biggest turnover and tips – customers from celebrities to service industry executives were invited to dine, engage in services, have events and stay at the hotel, they only had to pay for services if they were happy and all proceeds are being distributed to charities.

The program was not only entertaining, it also proved to be a great way of showcasing individuals who for whatever reasons had not been given opportunities to flourish in the work environment. A good number of the trainees demonstrated fantastic skills and determination to succeed and although a few struggled with the stress of being thrown in at the deep end – with the encouragement of all the team leaders they harvested success.

At the end of the show one lucky trainee from each team was offered a job with each Co General Manager Mary and Gordon. However what the trainees weren’t aware of was that hoteliers and leaders in the service industry were customers too and each trainee was offered a job at the end.

What a fantastic way to demonstrate to employers and employees alike that with a little effort, and some empowerment that even those with no work experience really can succeed.

As the media reports high volumes of unemployment for under skilled young people this program really facilitated some hope for all currently struggling to get their foot on the first rung of a career and really inspired the trainees.

It would be wonderful if other organisations embraced such opportunities to take on trainees from underprivileged backgrounds – reminding people as a whole that sometimes being given a sense of worth and encouragement that they can actually do it and turn their lives around.

The show also played a key reminder to everyone that we all had to start out working somewhere and didn’t just drop into high flying professional positions, but with hard work and determination we can achieve a whole lot more.


Five Things To Do Before You Ask For A Raise

Salary negotiations are tricky. And this is especially the case when you have been with the same employer for a number of years. You are likely to have grown somewhat comfortable, happy even. What if they say no? Do you have to quit?

The longer you work somewhere, the more personal the threat of rejection is too. After all, your employers are likely to know you pretty well. Are you really not worth more money?

Unfortunately however, those who don’t ask, rarely receive. If you want a raise, you’re therefore going to have to man up and ask for one. Before you charge into your bosses office however, make sure that you first do the following five things.

Make Your Value Known

Were you caught sleeping at your desk last week or did you just land a major client? Your answer to this question should determine whether or not now is the right time to ask for a raise.

Clever employees only ask for a raise when they are at their most valuable. They wait until their purpose is clear. They wait until their absence would appear to be a major loss for their employer. What have you done recently to deserve a raise?

Write Down a Number

Do you know how much you are worth? Before even thinking about asking for a raise, you need to understand what a reasonable raise would be. Ask for too much and you can expect an immediate refusal. Ask for too little and you’re a chump.

Use one of the many salary calculators available online. Factor in your qualifications and experience and determine what people like you are making nationwide. Ask your co workers what they make, while being tactful, of course. If you’ve got a friend in human resources, call him.

Once you’ve established what you’re worth, ask for ten percent more. It pays to be strategic when it comes to salary negotiations. You also might just get it.

See Your Boss Smile

Your boss might act like a robot but he’s a human just like you. He probably doesn’t like Mondays and some day’s he probably has a hangover. Timing is therefore something that you want to have on your side.

You shouldn’t use this as an excuse to procrastinate for weeks at a time, but you also shouldn’t approach him when he’s screaming.

Ask Yourself What You Want

You want money. We all want money. But sometimes employers don’t want to give it away. They will therefore come up with other possible incentives. These can include a company car, better health insurance, more time off, a nicer chair.

If all you want is money, stand your ground. But it is worth noting that the more flexible you are in terms of what you want, the more likely you are to get it. And who wouldn’t want a month off?

Practice Your Rejection Speech

Finally, the biggest mistake that you can make when it comes to salary negotiation is to raise your voice. If your request for more money is turned down, a smile might be difficult, but it’s necessary.

Salary negotiation is not a one time question and answer session, it’s an ongoing process. If you are turned down today, there is no law that says you can’t ask again next month. In fact, your boss is likely to expect it.

Provided you are graceful in defeat and you don’t take insult in rejection, you can ask for a raise as many times as you like. Provided you are worth it, you will eventually get it. But if you start screaming, it’s game over. And you just lost.

Ed Smith is a well-known job consultant based in London who shares the details for those seeking  internal communication jobs  through his informative blogs.

Transforming yourself in the work place – Friday snippet

Being good all the time can be hard work and sometimes you feel it is hardly worth the effort but if you could wish away a few of your bad habits – how different would your work life be? We all have colleagues with annoying traits and if you don’t then you may well be the one with all the bad habits! Here I have listed a fun way to identify and manage them:

  1. Identify – find out what your habits are and which are less than attractive, ask your colleagues to write down 3 of your habits which they find aggravating, fold them up and place them into a bowl. Once you have them all (now this is important) do not take them to heart as you are actively looking to remedy the habits, by being proactive you are taking the right steps to a happier work environment. Now compare all the results and pick the 3 most popular to work on. To make this an inclusive and more fun exercise – why not ask everyone to do the same.
  2. Penalty – having identified your 3 bad habits you then need to set a penalty for each time you do one of them. A “swear box” for want of a better phrase, can be used. Set a fixed penalty cost for each habit.
  3. Replace – it is a common theory that to lose a bad habit, you should look to replace it with a good habit. Find something else you can do which is positive and helps to fill the void.
  4. Reward – at the end of a set period of time, say a month or two – take the penalty cash and go buy cakes for everyone. If it is a large office with everyone involved and a fair few colleagues are being fined regularly then the collection may be worthy of buying lunch in or a drinks kitty in the pub one evening.

Often we are unaware of our habits or unaware that they annoy others so it is important to highlight them and address them – this type of activity can be a real team building exercise and if facilitated professionally can really help build a much happier work environment for all.