Work Environment: Getting in the Loop
Ever felt like you were the last person in the office to find out about a new client or the only worker in your department who hadn’t heard that Sue from human resources was having a baby? Being “out of the loop” can lead to feeling disconnected from colleagues and the company in general. It also could hurt your career if others routinely view you as an uninterested outsider.
While there’s no need to turn into a water cooler busybody, taking a few steps to become more “in the know” may be helpful. Consider these strategies from Courtney Templin, Chief Operating Officer at JB Training Solutions -- a workplace training and employee development company based in Chicago:
- Be approachable.
It’s easy to get buried in work, and you may be sending off signals that tell your co-workers you don’t want to be bothered with information about their personal life or office details that don't directly impact you. Take time to build relationships and talk about non-work related topics from time to time to position yourself as a friendly, approachable team member.
- Be a resource and connector.
Pay attention to what your co-workers take interest in, personally and professionally. If Bob in accounting is an avid runner, let him know about the upcoming half marathon. If Jane in marketing has been researching green initiatives for companies, pass along a relevant article that may be helpful to her. If Mitch from your team misses a meeting, pop in his office and offer to bring him up to speed. Be a good listener, be resourceful, and make connections.
- Pull a seat up to the table.
Don’t wait for someone to pull out your chair and ask you to sit down at the table. Just sit down! Jump into conversations, offer your opinion, and speak up. By staking your ground as an integral team member, your colleagues will be more inclined to share information with you.