It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Do you deserve a promotion? Do you find yourself thinking about all the effort you’ve put in over the last year in your Dubai marketing or sales department? Are you wondering if it is enough to get a promotion?
If you have been asking yourself this question, it is time to find out if your company feels the same way as you do. Seeing other people promoted before us can be demotivating – one of the main reasons people give for leaving a company is because they don’t feel their work has been recognised by their managers.
So it’s time to compile a list of everything you know you’ve done for the company, and how it has helped your company. Did you set up a meeting six months ago that led to a big deal being signed recently? Have your skills at forecasting the market meant your company is leaner and more flexible than your competitors? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself.
Don’t be afraid of asking for a meeting with your immediate superior and human resource department. If you really feel that you deserve a promotion, act straight away. Don’t let your feelings fester.
For a meeting this important, don’t go in empty handed – the conversation won’t go well if you are unprepared. Go back to your list and add any letters or emails of congratulation so you can show what people think about your work.
Having this conversation with your company can yield interesting results. Although they may not have a position for you straight away, there could be an interesting sideward promotion. It may not be exactly what you would like to do, yet the experience gained here could provide you with a better shot at a promotion to your dream job next time round. It entirely depends on what your career goals are.
And talking of goals, you need another list to outline what your career goals actually are. You don’t have to divulge everything on this list to your company, but you do need to be clear in your own mind. If your ultimate aim is to be the marketing director at Dubai’s leading pharmaceutical company, you need to start looking at the kinds of positions that will get you your dream job. They may not necessarily be what the company wants to offer you, in which case, getting the promotion you want may mean leaving your company.
If all this seems daunting, you should investigate courses that are aimed at giving you the right skills to develop your negotiation abilities. Coaching is an invaluable tool to help you reach your target career. And from a business perspective, coaching is a very good way to retain highly motivated staff. If you have a person on your team who shows they want to step up a level in their career, but you feel they are not quite there yet, business coaching will help you both. They may find your organisation can provide training that another marketing company in Dubai cannot. It’s far better to retain talented staff than to lose them because you didn’t listen to their desires for a promotion.
When people aren’t happy in their workplace, the workflow is interrupted and the ripples run through the entire team. Conflict arises from many different sources: a misleading claim for a successful advertising concept at your Dubai marketing meeting, a team fragmenting during a stressful point in a project, or a simple gripe over missing food in the office fridge.
Finding the best way to resolve conflict in the office means knowing how to effectively implement your company’s human resource guidelines. Just as you wouldn’t sue your neighbour the first time their child chucks a ball over the fence, you wouldn’t go straight for formal warnings when tensions rise in the workplace – well not unless the tensions had resulted in some seriously criminal behaviour.
Initially your job as manager of a team of people is to diffuse the situation when it becomes a problem to the overall running of the team. This may mean pulling the main protagonists to one side and giving them the chance to air their views. At this stage it’s not about finding out which one of them is wrong, it’s more about allowing them to talk in a reasonable manner, in a safe place. This is essential to achieving an early resolution. Let a situation go too far and they may not even wish to sit in the same room to talk it through.
What you are aiming for is a position where all parties get to air their views equally. Some conflict may arise out of one person receiving a promotion that another person feels unfairly missed them. Or there may be serious disagreements over the right way to structure a bid. You may not wish to take out time during a busy period, but an hour taken out to help people can prevent hours and hours of poorly done work down the line.
At the initial stage, do keep a note of all the dealings with the conflict. This will help you if there are more problems down the line. If they haven’t listened to each other, you can at least show them your thoughts on the meeting and how it was concluded.
Allow each person equal time to put forward their side of the problem, but bear in mind that each person is seeing it solely from their point of view. It is your job to keep a sense of perspective and not be drawn yourself into the argument.
Try and find a point on which everyone agrees and build a solution around it. If you cannot find resolution, the next step could be mediation. This is a more formal meeting and you should talk to someone in human resources beforehand. They will have more experience dealing with conflict and may be able to offer a solution you hadn’t thought of.
But don’t forget, not all conflict is necessarily bad. There are times when two people do not see eye to eye on how to deliver a new product. In these situations, the win/win scenario can be made to fit. Even though neither of them can be completely right, a seasoned well trained manager of a Dubai company will know how to solve the problem: look at both methods and take the very best ideas from both camps.
Weekends are a precious space to take a breather from the office. Yet when you have just slogged through the commute back to your Dubai home, the bad vibes in your office can blow away any peace you might have had left.
Nothing ruins you mood, and sometimes your commitment to your job, faster than office politics. And it isn’t just a small annoyance, chat to anyone in HR and they’ll readily tell you the overall effect of someone, or a group of people. Playing office politics is detrimental in terms of a department’s performance: it lowers productivity and leads to higher staff turnover.
There are, of course, levels of office politics ranging from simple ignoring a colleague to specifically targeting an individual and making their life a misery. However you look at it, it’s going to cause trouble. An ignored colleague is either going to feel ostracised and perform badly, or feel a lack of support and seek employment elsewhere.
On the other end of the scale where someone is specifically targeted, this goes beyond office politics and into bullying territory. In a culture where not passing on important information to an individual is accepted, it has ramifications for the business as well as the individual.
Not only could a person be made to look stupid at a group meeting, it might even cause them to lose a client. Neither is good. Losing a client hurts the entire company. The individual meanwhile is thoroughly demotivated and will either quit or under perform.
So how do you combat this happiness, time and productivity sucker? If you are a manager of a the group and can see the office politics being played out in front of you, it is part of your job to sort it out. Let’s face it, any detrimental activities going on during your watch is going to have a negative impact on your promotion prospects.
If you are the person feeling the brunt of the office politics, getting it off your chest may be difficult, but if you want to stay within the company rather than trying for a new job, you have to find the right person in the organisation to talk to.
In both cases you have to prepare yourself beforehand. To get a successful resolution you need to think of all the possible angles the other person is going to take. It may be that there is a little bit of tit for tat going on where no one person started it, but the whole department is suffering as a consequence. It’s possible that your manager is actually in on the game of politics – perhaps taking credit for your ideas and hard graft. It may be that you need to find an advocate in HR.
As with most difficult conversations in life, first of all think about what result you are looking for from the conversation. Without an end goal, the drive of the conversation can easily be taken away from you. Practicing your opening comments is key. Knowing exactly what you want to say will help you get over the hurdle of broaching the subject with the other person. Get yourself into a calm place as well: ranting doesn’t help your cause. Listen to the response, remember they have a right to their point of view, yet keep in mind your goal.
Tough as it is to confront a problem in the office, your daily commute through Deira will be significantly easier if you tackle it. And don’t wait until Thursday to do it. Make the commitment at the beginning of the week so you can all work through the after effects together.