Common sense is a quality sought after by most employers because it ensures that workers will follow the company values and morals. This is without needing constant guidance from other workers. What did this mean about how often you use common sense at work?
Common sense should be used on a daily basis at work for decision making. Using common sense at work keeps projects running quickly and appropriate workplace behaviour. A worker can develop their common sense by learning about the company and using this information to guide their intuitive actions.
Let’s look a bit more at workplace common sense and how to improve it!
What is common sense at work?
Common sense is about having good sense and practical knowledge that affect actions, so common sense at work uses these to influence your working habits. It involves identifying safety risks and making the effort to avoid them without troubling others. Also, not doing anything yourself that will increase these risks. It includes your ability to make decisions about your work without having to consult others when it isn’t necessary. Other things that tie into your common sense is knowing how to get on with peers, manage your emotions and organize your work.
Common sense is developed from our experiences and the experiences of those around us. You don’t have to do something first-hand, but hearing about the consequences from another person will encourage you not to follow suit. This increases your common sense in and outside the workplace. At its core, common sense in the workplace is about making good decisions based on your gut without needing to ask someone.
The importance of common sense in the workplace
Common sense influences our work habits, which is why it is important to understand common sense in the workplace. Workplace common sense involves identifying potential risk factors in the work environment and avoiding these hazards. It also involves having consideration for your co-workers, making the workplace more pleasant and efficient.
Part of workplace common sense involves the ability to problem solve as an individual worker. This allows you to make decisions about work-related issues on your own that will handle the issue promptly and properly.
Using common sense in the workplace is something that can be learnt over time. It is a matter of learning common problems that can arise, and the most logical way to handle those. You can apply company policies and manage to solve problems without needing to consult a superior worker. This workplace common sense that you develop will then turn into an instinctual thought process. When new problems pop up, you will start to fall back on your other workplace safety and problem-solving knowledge. Then, using common sense, apply the best solution to these problems. Workplace common sense is an extremely important skill to develop, especially if you are in a position that requires you to work autonomously.
How often do you use common sense at work?
You should use common sense at work on a regular basis because it ties into a lot of your decision-making processes. It also influences the way you interact with your coworkers. It is common sense to be respectful and polite, but there are people who struggle to understand this and are therefore lacking in this good sense. This can cause them to be rude to other coworkers or customers.
Common sense in the workplace is developed from learning about the company, the values and expected behaviours. Once you learn the key ideas behind the business you’re working for, you start to base your decision-making on this. In this case, your workplace common sense is narrowed down to learning and following what you believe anyone else in the company would do. What would be the best action to take to continue following the company expectation?
We have to make decisions in our work environments every day. This means you should be using your common sense every workday. By following this workplace sense, the work environment will flow better because everyone will be on the same page. It keeps the company values at the forefront of all action.
How to improve common sense at work?
While some people show more common sense than others, it can be developed to a certain extent. These are some methods companies can use to develop their employees’ common sense at the workplace.
Provide safety training to workers
By providing safety training, you draw workers attention to health and safety hazards. Once something is pointed out to a person, it is hard for them to not notice it down the track. This is training their subconscious to stay aware of these safety risks in the workplace. It also increases their common sense in how they behave so that they aren’t increasing the risk of harm to themselves or others. It’s important for the common sense of those working for start ups and big companies.
Create an innovative and challenging work environment
A challenging work environment is very stimulating which encourages employees to think more about their job. These challenges will often involve decision-making needed to be done by the workers making them use their common sense. They will want to prove their ability to handle the responsibility of the challenge which will make them need to think about their actions more.
Encourage teamwork to boost common sense
Two minds are typically better than one because someone will have different ideas and views than you. By combining ideas, listening and seeing how others think, common sense can be increased. For example, in the construction industry, there are always teams of people consulted about ideas because everyone will identify a different problem or resolution. While everyone should have basic common sense when it comes to not touching hot things or removing safety risks, not everyone has workplace common sense. Combining teams and their knowledge about the workplace will help others to add that kind of thinking to their common sense.
Have open communication about problems and feedback
While it’s good to have a level of expectation for common sense in your workers, not everyone will come in with the same levels of this thinking. This is why you need to be able to have open communication between workers and managers and continuously improve communication skills. Without being able to consult someone if they are struggling to make a decision, employees will struggle to increase their common sense and problem-solving at work.
This communication is also important for feedback. Constructive criticism can be shared between boss and worker which will again influence their subconscious thinking. In turn, it will influence their workplace common sense moving forward.
Workplace common sense isn’t always ‘common’
Common sense in the workplace is not as common as the name suggests. As individuals, we all have different thought processes and notice different things. So, you might notice some cords laying around and note that it is a safety hazard that needs to be fixed. Many other people would step over the cords and keep going. Good workplace common sense is to put the cords out of the way, but surprisingly, most people won’t touch them and leave the safety hazard.
This is why common sense development is important for health and safety in the workplace. Workers need to constantly assess work environments and use their common sense to make the workplace as safe as possible. And this extends to more than just the workplace.
What may be ‘obvious’ common sense in everyday life to one person, may not be to another. We all have run-ins with bad-mannered people or people who are just plain rude. For example, not using your indicator when driving, taking up multiple seats on a busy train or leaving a mess for someone else to clean up. It might be an obvious no-no to you, but not to somebody else.
While these are often no more than a minor annoyance or inconvenience, that’s not always the case. Texting while driving could result in a major accident. Not covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing could make somebody else sick. You get the idea – it’s certainly not a positive to lack common sense.
Common sense is important in the workplace and in your day-to-day life. It’s all about learning from experiences and using your common knowledge to problem-solve by yourself.
Some simple tips to develop your common sense
To help you out some more, here are simple tips to improve your common sense in general:
- Always pay attention to the task at hand. When you don’t pay complete attention to work, things tend to go wrong.
- Don’t make quick decisions. When you know you don’t have good common sense, take some time to research well and make a good decision. Always think well of the consequences of the decisions you make.
- Plan well. Think ahead and prepare for the future. This will help you to avoid any slip-ups.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Those with common sense ask a lot of questions. This helps to understand an issue from all angles.
- Improve your knowledge and problem-solving skills. You can improve your knowledge by reading things are that are related to your work, for example, business magazines, newsletters, journal articles, etc.
If you found this article helpful, check out some of our other great articles written by our great team at Rednax Recruitment. Thought-provoking blogs like; ‘What is the difference between a Job and a Career‘ or ‘Does it matter what your first job is?‘
While you are here, be sure to check out what Brisbane Jobs we have advertised as we are always looking for great people to join our labour hire team!