Monday, October 26, 2009

Stealing Focus at Work

There is more at risk of being nabbed at work than just your lunch leftovers.

An OfficeTeam survey found that 29 percent of employees have had an idea stolen at work. Even more surprising is that 51 percent of these employees have done nothing about it in response.

In contrast, 26 percent of these employees spoke up to take credit for what was their idea while 13 percent told a manager and another 13 percent confronted the person who stole the idea.

One major reason behind this behavior could be a competitive and anxious workplace atmosphere due to the current job climate. Employees are eager to look like active and useful contributors, and may unconsciously pounce onto someone else’s idea.

OfficeTeam lists a few recommendations to prevent intellectual property theft in the workplace.

Firstly, give your manager regular status updates so that she is reminded of your ideas and their progress.

Also, look for patterns. Is one of your ideas being stolen a one-time occurrence, or is your work regularly attributed to others? This could be a sign that you are not assertive enough.

Finally, don’t act too hastily. If someone takes credit for your idea, make sure you hear his side of the situation. Similarly, if you are wrongfully given credit for someone else’s idea, make sure you clear up the situation to demonstrate your integrity.

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