Company Karma

Every employee, even a one-person business, deals with company Karma on a daily basis.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with Karma is, its principals are based on cause and effect. For example, if you treat your co-workers kindly then the kindness will be returned.


I’ve dealt with company Karma first-hand, and every time I’ve acted like a jerk it has come back to bite me one way or another. One of the first times it happened was when I was managing a front office staff where there were only three people including me. I had just been given the duties a few months before, and I was giving some of my workload to the other employees. As the weeks went on I was doing less and less. I thought that I was working smart, until a customer called in looking for me. When I took the call from my old customer, I listened to his request and told him I would find the information and call him right back. The work that I had once done had now been changed. I searched all over for the information. I spent the whole morning trying to find out a simple tracking number for this customer’s shipment.


Instead of understanding the new system that my staff had implemented, I ignored it because I thought I was too busy. I got caught up in my own ego.


I never called the customer back, and he became frustrated by my lack of attention to his dilemma. He spoke to my boss, who came down on me hard. I thought there was a chance that I would lose my job. My staff had also lost their appreciation for their work. They didn’t know what their goals were. I neglected them because I wanted to clear the work off my own agenda, but in the process I had made my life more difficult.


Looking back on the situation, I should have seen all the signs. My staff’s disgruntled looks, my inability to find simple information, and my waning enthusiasm because I wasn’t as involved as I had once been. The company Karma that I created was building up its energy to come and bite me. It bit hard. I remember falling into a mini depression because I was sure that they were going to fire me. Well…I had overreacted and there really was no danger of me losing my job, but I used the fear to change my ways. It was a chance to improve my managing skills. I needed to open truthful dialog between my staff and I, and the first thing I did was apologize. Then we created a “to do” list of how things would change, implementing a system that kept everyone informed.


You have probably dealt with similar situations throughout your working life. Do you see problems passed from one person to the next, hoping that someone takes control? When this happens you have a perfect opportunity to improve your company Karma by taking on the task and showing the people around you that you are willing to chip in, instead of passing the work along. Watch what happens. You’ll probably see someone else taking on a different problem that they would have normally passed on. Because of you, your company’s Karma has increased. Two birds with one attitude change.


What could be better than increasing your Karma as well as the company’s with a few small changes? If you have to put in your work hours to pay the bills, you may as well have great Karma at the same time.


What kind of company Karma have you had to deal with? And has it ever come back to bite you?