Are Bad Drivers Signals of Bad Employees?

by Emily Jasper on March 22, 2010

Admit it. Sometimes you drive in the rain without your lights on. Or you don’t use your turn signal. Or how about driving too slow when traffic rushes by you? Maybe no seatbelt when it’s only a quick trip?

After living in the DC metro area, I couldn’t imagine too many places that had worse driving. Nope, the Twin Cities continues to astound me every day. I learned to drive from my father, a fighter pilot. Needless to say, I had a very sharp eye constantly watching to make sure I was the safest driver on the road. Around here, I’m surprised I make it home some days.

As I pull into my parking spot, I always think: “Wow, if people can’t even follow traffic laws, how are they at work?”

Well, they might be jackasses.

  • No Lights on in the Rain? If you are using your wipers, you should have your lights on. In many states, it’s the law. Frankly, it’s common sense. It’s not even so you can see, but so others can see you.
    • Think about your own visibility in your organization.  When things are rough, are you making it clear that you’re doing your job? Is your performance level clear? Or are you sneaking by, letting things slide, and perhaps endangering those around you by not making your contributions clear?
  • Turn Signals as an Option? Not so much. This isn’t just a courtesy for drivers around you, but a law in many states. That’s why you learned those funny arm signals just in case.
    • When you go to work, it’s generally nice if people around you know what direction you’re planning on taking. Don’t show up and collide with efforts because you didn’t signal ahead. For example, give warning on a budget change for the team project. Or navigate your own team to better perform new best practices.
  • Speedy Drivers Causing You to Slow Down? We’ve all seen it, that one person going about 10mph below the speed limit and practically causing accidents left and right.
    • While I don’t suggest you speed by everyone, dangerously swerving and potentially causing accidents yourself, there’s a reason we should all stay within a safe range of the flow of traffic. We can better read each other, prepare for changes, and adjust our own performance. When you’re too slow, people can’t get around you, they can lose valuable resources, and you can experience project failure. Find a way to keep up with everyone else.
  • Lack of a Seatbelt on a Quick Trip? Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I personally have been saved from flying through my windshield by a seatbelt. Protect yourself!
    • If there are certain basics expected from you at work, complete them. It could be as simple as your timesheet or expense reports. If you are constantly late on these, you risk having pay withheld or your company card shut off. Especially as resources are continuously streamlined, executive ranks will get reports of people who are constantly late. If you’re on that list, you’re not considered responsible or reliable.

Think about it, are you a safe driver? Are you a good employee? Are you considerate of those around you and follow basic laws?

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