Posted on March 22, 2012 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Each and every one of us has a personal reputation at our job. This reputation is a product of how we interact with others as well as the way in which we complete our work. The reputation we have in the workplace can significantly impact our future success at an organization as well as career options at other organizations. We tend to forget how our reputations with coworkers and employees in our organizational can influence our future careers.
The March issue of The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology featured an article that examined how our reputations are formed and the consequences associated with reputations. When we think about our personal reputations with one another, we don’t always think about how our reputations are formed. I may think that Joe has an unfair judgment of who I am as an employee, but have I really considered why his opinion of me is poor?
Think about teams you have worked with at either school or work. During a group project, there are always different personalities and leadership styles among a team. There is typically a very strong leader, quiet listeners, and inevitably the one team member that never seems to pull his or her weight on the project. Which team member are you? How you work with others impacts what people are not only thinking about you but telling others. Our professional reputations are often a result of how we work with others and how we treat others.
The study by Zinko, Ferris, Humphrey, Meyer, and Aime (2012) also took into account how human capital can impact professional reputations. What is meant by human capital? In this context, human capital refers to what you can bring to an organization such as resources, knowledge, and education. Our personal reputations at work tend to be more positive when we bring a lot to the table at our organizations. There is also room for being cautious. No one likes the employee that although is very bright is also very arrogant and difficult to work with.
The researchers’ results indicate that reputations in the workplace tend to be formed over time. Although we make quick judgments about coworkers, the reputations are not created until employees are able to extract enough information about a particular employee. The results also indicate that those employees who engage in organizational citizenship behaviors (helping behaviors) tend to have more positive reputations.
How do you believe reputations are formed? Can they be changed very easily?
Zinko, R., Ferris, G., Humphrey, S., Meyer, C., & Aime, F. (2012). Personal reputation in organizations: Two-study constructive replication and extension of antecedents and consequences. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Behavior, 85, 156-180.