Embarrassing employee workplace gaffes…

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I’m sure we all have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of embarrassment that presents itself when least expected, crumbling our confidence and reputation as others observe with pitiful looks and concealed laughter.  Sadly, the worst part is, that the cringe-worthy story has its way of emerging, days, weeks and even years later…

However, even if your trousers have split in front of colleagues or you accidentally overshared with your boss, you can’t be reeling from embarrassment as much as the best man at Pippa Middleton’s wedding is.  Awkward.

However, these come pretty close!!! The Guardian have collated a few of the worst employee workplace blunders… read on if you dare…

Not work safe!

“My best friend had just given birth the weekend before and sent loads of cute baby photos to our group messenger. I was showing my manager the pictures on Monday morning when I swiped one photo too far back and a horrific, pornographic photo involving an obese woman and a lot of bananas captioned “it’s Friday c****, let’s go bananas” popped up.

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“Someone had sent it to the group ages ago as a joke and I’d completely forgotten. We both screamed and I started apologising profusely, saying I had no clue what it was doing there as this was my girly school group messenger! It was so cringe-worthy I was completely speechless and we were both completely shocked silent for a couple of hours. After I got a stern talking to about private affairs at work.”

Run for it!

“I was responsible for mixing the chemicals that processed colour slides in a professional photo lab. One afternoon I inadvertently picked up an old version of a chemical and mixed the reaction together. The result was a wall of foam that rose over 6ft high and moved like a tsunami out of the mixing room and into the main room forcing everyone to run for it. Luckily, my boss saw the funny side of it.”

Caution – hot liquids

“At an important meeting with some Board members, a colleague made me a cup of tea. Unbeknownst to me, there was no milk in it. At the start of the meeting I took a big gulp of tea, but clearly without any cold milk the liquid was boiling hot.

“My mouth on fire, I had no option but to spit the tea straight back out onto the carpeted floor. Not only was I embarrassed, but all of my mouth was burnt and swollen. I made a swift exit – fortunately my line manager followed me out and I was able to explain.”

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Put it away!

“I was in the lift at work heading down to the canteen with a mug of hot soup. It was lunchtime so the lift was full of people. For some reason the mug slipped from my hand, smashing on the floor and soup was thrown everywhere.  “All over me, over the people next to me and across the floor. In my red-faced embarrassment, I bent down to pick up what was left of the mug. It was at that point my trousers split completely, from my backside to about half way down my leg. The whole lift burst out laughing. Needless to say, I made a quick exit at the next available floor.”

Do you have any embarrassing stories you’d like to share?, HR Revolution would love to hear them, comment below if you dare!!!

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Do your colleagues like you as much as you think?

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In all probability the answer to this is no! Very blunt I know, but I am just being honest with you.

In truth we all have bits about us that are completely unlikeable, but we just don’t want to believe it!

Take a look at the top reasons for being disliked in the workplace and ask yourself…  Is that me?

You gossip: and I mean the negative kind. What you don’t realise is that you are venting about someone to the very person they are best friends with. In short, neither of them like you now and they have told everyone else not to trust you!!

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You lengthen meetings: with the most ridiculous questions, which in all probability have been answered already if you hadn’t been too busy doodling to notice, or just wanted to make your presence known. Now it’s past going home time you are very unpopular indeed!

You depend on everyone: for every single answer. You have google on your computer, it pretty much knows everything so use it and stop asking me!

You moan: OMG is your cup ever half full? Apparently not, it’s too cold, there are no teabags, you broke a nail, you hate Mondays, the stationery cupboard is too far away, don’t depress the office…

You tell white lies: It wasn’t your idea stop saying it was aaarrggghhh!

You know it all: about everything and you can do my job better than me!!! (even though you don’t know what you are talking about). Get over yourself your insecurity is boring!

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You are lazy: and you know it. It’s never your responsibility, so why should you step up to take on extra duties? Well people might like you a bit more if you pulled your weight for one!

You are Little Miss Sunshine: really?! No-one can be that happy all of the time. The lift breaking down when you work on the 15th floor is NOT a good excuse for light exercise! I don’t want a group hug, high fives or to turn my frown upside down… so please go away.

You talk too much: and when I say too much I mean all the time! Now I don’t mind a quick catch up on last night’s TV, but seriously I have work to do and I really am not that interested in Aunt Maud’s bad back. Rein it in a bit hey!

You are always sick: I mean taking every Monday off is a bit suspect, do you really always have something dodgy to eat on a Sunday!?? I’m suspicious and I don’t really like you for it.

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You smell: ok sensitive subject but it’s true no-one like to sit with someone who’s got BO or bad breath.

You suck up to your colleagues: all the time. Did you do your hair differently? I like your dress, is it new? Did you lose weight? It’s all rubbish, the boss looks the same as always and you are not getting a promotion.

So if you want to win favour in the office, take an interest in other people, listen to a story they want to share, give the odd compliment and maybe offer to buy the coffee or make one at least!

Even as I wrote this blog I couldn’t help thinking ‘actually I do a bit of all of those’, so I will sign off and go and spray myself with some perfume, make my team a coffee or tea and not moan when there is no milk! and tell my colleague that I did notice her hair cut and I like it!

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Top 10 causes of stress at work

In this day and age we often hear a lot about workplace stress and sadly it’s symptomatic of society’s drive for constant growth and increased wealth, the outcome of which is ever increasing pressure on companies and employees alike.

Listed below are the 10 most common causes of stress in the workplace:

  1. Being given too much work
  2. Unrealistic deadlines
  3. Not being paid enough for the hours worked/duties performed
  4. Work-life balance
  5. Fear of missing targets
  6. Expected to work more hours than contracted too
  7. Poor working relationships
  8. Bullying or harassment
  9. Fear of redundancy
  10. Lack of control over work activities

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So how can you deal with it? Well, start by showing signs that you really care.

Speak to your employees: try to get them talking in a relaxed setting outside the office and show real concern for their welfare.

Make small changes to help them out – it will foster a sense of trust that you may be willing to listen when there is a larger problem. While still challenging them, be careful to keep goals realistic.

Encourage an atmosphere where employees can tell their peers about things that aren’t working or make suggestions for improvements (keep it anonymous if necessary). Make sure the good ideas get acted upon or problems dealt with – very publicly – so that everyone knows you respect the process. This will build confidence that you take their views seriously, and if something can’t be solved, make sure you explain why.

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Remember that employees can be stretched more when they feel listened to and respected as people.  They will work harder for you, and it will benefit you, your employees and the company.

If you have any issues with stress in the workplace, give HR Revolution a call +203 531 5388 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, we are here to help.

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Friday fun HR facts…

We hope that as well as providing our readers with useful HR advice and guidance we offer you some fun HR facts too…  Here at HR Revolution we have never been known as the ‘fun police’!

Here are a few Friday fun facts… enjoy…

  • Nearly a third of the UK’s office workers find their co-workers’ moaning to be one of the biggest annoyances in the workplace.
  • 47% of females refuse to poo at work.
  • 2.16pm is the most common time for workers to feel tired and find it hard to concentrate. This is known as the ‘office slump’.

  • Jobseekers said access to good quality tea or coffee at work outweighed other employee benefits such as subsidised gym memberships and childcare vouchers.
  • Half of British workers would walk out of their dream job in exchange for a free round the world trip.
  • 2.3% of jobseekers have witnessed an interviewer pass wind during the interview.

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10 bizarre notes left in office fridges…

Have you ever been really looking forward to your lunch, carefully packed the night before, only to go to your office fridge and discover someone else had already helped themselves to it?

Who on earth would do such a thing?  Well, apparently it turns out quite a lot of us would! and don’t get me started on the office kitchen sink being full of crockery or the bin, full to the brim.

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A recent survey, conducted by Security experts ADT, found that significant numbers of office workers have had their lunches and office cutlery stolen.

31% of workers have been left with boiling blood – as opposed to boiling tea – after reporting their favourite work mug had been stolen.

Whilst 29% have been left heartbroken and hungry, on discovering that their lunch had been snatched from the office fridge and the survey concluded that these lunch-hour Artful Dodgers are usually men.

As collated by The Telegraph, here are ten of the funniest passive-aggressive lunch-notes that are sure to put a smile on your face.

1. Dear Fridge Thief, please chop your hands off to save me the trouble. #leavemyfruitalone

2. Good Morning! To whomever has been enjoying my coffee creamer all week… Surprise! You’ve been drinking my breast milk. Hope you’ve enjoyed. Cheers! P.S. It’s organic, so no worries.

3. Whoever stole my sandwich – you are lowlife scum and deserve a swift kick in the pants.

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4. (The SAW themed note) To whomever is stealing food from the fridge, Let’s play a game. I have placed a few meals in the fridge for you. They are loaded with laxatives. I am not telling you what they are. If you eat your own food, you will be fine. If you eat what is not yours, you may be in for an unpleasant day. Have fun.

5. Harry Potter and the Refrigerator of Fear

Enter, stranger, but take heed

Of what awaits the sin of greed

For those who take, but do not earn

Must pay most dearly in their turn

So, if you seek beneath our floors

A treasure that was never yours

Thief, you have been warned, beware

Of finding more than treasure there.

6. To whoever steals drinks when they’re on top of the fridge. Not cool, dude. Not cool. (Must be a hipster – he stole drinks before they were cool.)

7. STOP eating my soup! I’m watching you. I mixed a little OxyPowder in my soup today. Care to find out what that is. Try a bit…. (note: Oxy Powder is a form of laxative).

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8. Nothing in this box is worth dying for…..

9. A Poem: Sugar is sweet, Sugar is great. I hope your teeth fall out. Much Love. P.S. Seriously, I hope your teeth fall out or you get a mouth full of bad karma or cavities. This betrayal is as bitter as the unsugared coffee I had to drink this morning.

10. To the ignorant person who stole my lunch between yesterday and today: I just wanted to let you know that I have strep throat and you’ll notice that I had partially eaten the food.

Don’t be surprised if you get sick. I’m sure the visit to the doctor will cost more than you would have paid if you bought your lunch as opposed to stealing someone else’s. Also, since you’re such a genius, I just wanted to remind you that what you did is stealing and it would be a shame that you’d lose your job for being a thief. On second thought, it wouldn’t be a shame it would be great.

Have you any office fridge horror stories?, we’d love to hear them, let us know by commenting below.

bizarre notes left in office fridges

 

6 daily desk exercises you should incorporate into your routine

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Whilst doing some research we found these great desk exercises from totaljobs.  Award winning health journalist Helen Foster, developed these 6 simple desk exercises to help you incorporate activity into your working day, every little helps especially in a world where we are aware about the impact sedentary lifestyles have on our bodies.  Try and repeat these exercises daily, so you get into the habit; they’ll help revitalise you when you’re having a morning or afternoon productivity slump.

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simple daily exercises - outsourced hr

simple daily exercises - outsourced hr

If you combine the exercises mentioned above everyday, it will help you burn 234 calories per day, which amounts to 1,170 calories a week and that’s enough for a portion of dough balls and a Le Reine pizza or breaded scampi, chips and peas and a large glass of wine.

Happy exercising…

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Odd employee behaviour – what does it mean?

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It’s very interesting how we interpret other people’s behaviour; often our perception can be skewed by how we are feeling ourselves or from a previous experience.

I was recently asked about an employee who had started to arrive late for work on a regular basis, and kept ‘popping out’ to take phone calls. At this point most of you are already thinking clearly looking for another job!. That was my colleague’s immediate thought, however, being quite an empathetic soul I also wondered if something had changed in their personal life; had a family member been taken ill? or other circumstances changed?

The point here really is how important it is to talk to your employees.  Say that odd behaviour is a result of covert calls to a Recruitment Consultant, how do you feel about the employee leaving? Are they a talent you want to keep in your business? This could be a wake-up call to address any issues that are making them feel dissatisfied or underappreciated.

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Alternatively, they could be dealing with real difficulties within their personal life and it’s now impacting their ability to be fully focused on their role. I have seen many good, productive employees suddenly start to fall away from expected standards, and I’ve seen the massive impact a show of concern; a listening ear; a hand on the shoulder to say ‘we support you’ can have.

Most employers agree that these types of conversations are not always easy to have, but it doesn’t have to be a big production. Dependent on your relationship with the employee it can be a formal conversation in a meeting room or quick chat in the kitchen, or perhaps you have someone fairly senior within the business who is more at home talking to people on that level.

Always approach people with the benefit of the doubt, experience has shown you never know what kind of answer you’ll get in return. Start by telling them that you have noticed a change in their behaviour recently, what those changes are, and how it’s impacting their work or their colleagues.   Try to ascertain if there is anything troubling them at home or work and whether they would like to discuss the issue so that you can help them? It is imperative to be fully supportive.

outsourced hrIf they are looking for another job, this could be the catalyst for an open conversation that needs to happen.  If they have already decided to leave, there may be little you can do to change their minds, so it’s important to remind them of what is expected whilst they are still an employee.

Whatever the outcome by talking to your employees you are creating a more positive, loyal productive workforce.

Sound daunting, then give HR Revolution a call we can give you the guidance you need to approach these situations.  +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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