Outten & Golden: Empowering Employees in the Workplace

Who Wins at Work?

August 23rd, 2010 | Bob Rosner

Image: Bob RosnerAt a friend’s urging, I recently bought a bike to commute to the new job. I can’t believe how having the wind in my face takes me back to being nine years old.

Okay, I can hear what many of the women reading this are thinking. Jeez, that’s the last thing we need, something to make guys even less mature.

That aside, my friend also gave me a great bit of sage advice. “Cars win.”

After a week of bike riding, I’ve been very safe because of those wise words. Which got me thinking, what else wins at work?

Clearly companies win today. With all the salary cuts, benefit reductions and layoffs, most workers are running scared. But even there, savvy employees can still negotiate with employers to get what they need. The best way to negotiate with your employer? Do it when you first get offered the job. That’s when you have maximum leverage. The next best way to negotiate, have a competing job offer in hand.

Bosses mostly win. Again, when I’ve had a boss, I usually have been able to get what I needed from them. Not because I’m a terrific negotiator, but because I always ask when they’re in a good mood. Trust me, this goes further than you realize.

Coworkers should win. I know the phrase is hackneyed, but doing random acts of kindness for coworkers is so darn wise. Doing favors before you need them in return. Most people take coworkers for granted, I always try to do the exact opposite.

Customers need to win. Really.

I guess I’m naïve enough to think that we don’t have to always have losers just so someone can win.

About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, “The Boss’s Survival Guide.” If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

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