A few lessons from the office newbie

Forget the old proverb that goes, “a new broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows all corners.” It might apply in some instances but for this case, I will disregard it in the context of what I am talking about.

Many might judge the new workmate because they are young. As I disregarded the famous proverb, even an old broom can learn something from the younger workmate. Regardless of your judgment and perception, there are a few things that the younger workmate can teach older workmates.

Patrick Ngolobe, the president of the Human Resource Managers’ Association of Uganda,(HRMAU shares some of the things that an older worker can learn from a young colleague.

Flexibility
“The young present a lot of flexibility and to them, work is tied down to a place because they can deliver regardless of where they are as long as they have the necessary tools to carry out a given task,” Ngolobe shares.
He further highlights that to the young, it does not matter whether they come to the office or not, thus the older workmates can learn such flexibility from them because sometimes, older people tend to think that work is all about being physically present at the place of work.

Risk takers
“Younger colleagues are usually very adaptive and like to take risks and venture into new responsibilities. It is great if the older colleague can emulate this because it contributes to productivity levels of the company.”

Ngolobe adds that the younger workers are usually driving a lot of change which creates room for new ideas and as such, the older colleagues emulate the enthusiasm of their fellow younger counter parts by bending towards the change they bring.

As long as one stays rigid, one’s worklife cannot be certain. Companies evolve, they change and embrace new technologies and new ways of working and all this is usually pioneered by the younger employees.

New technology
“It can be the use of computers, iPads, eLearning and the older people’s traditional mode of learning is in the classroom thus they can learn from their younger colleagues since all these provide the same information we would get when we go to class,” says Evelyn Bahemuka, learning and development partner, Stanbic Bank.

Work-life balance
Bahemuka shares that the young are able to balance work with other issues since they always find time for leisure activities, “they will create time for the gym, beach and even time for work.”

Creativity
Younger workers add an element of fun and strength to the team because they respond to diversity and changes quickly, both inside and outside the workplace. They are always finding a more interesting way to do the same old jobs.

Tips for the office newbie

• Your first day at work is the only time you have to make a good impression, so prepare for it.
• Get your co-workers names right. Some people take exception to being called by the wrong name more than twice a day.
• Identify the workmate that you will befriend, who will take you round the premises and explain the office culture to you. You do not have to be over clingy to the person, though
• You are too new to begin asking about the office politics. Besides, getting to know the politics at such an early stage will bias you both professionally and personally towards particular people.
• You might have new and up-to-date ways to do the assignments, but do not alienate your older collegues by dismissing their methods as outdated.
• Overcome pride and arrogance. Your older workmates might have a thing or two they can teach you, especially about patience and avoiding the landmines that seem to litter many workplaces.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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