Money Lady’s tips for creating good ‘work karma’

 In Opinion

Dear Money Lady,

I don’t have a question but rather a comment. I know you write about millennials a lot and I just wanted to add to that. We recently hired 12 new staff to our growing business and all of them were under 35. Maybe we just got lucky, but they are all great. We didn’t aim to hire all younger workers, but it just worked out that way and I must say it has given us new and wonderful work karma.

Melinda P.

Dear Melinda,

I picked your comment because I loved your slogan “work karma,” Thank you.

No matter what your age, being a good co-worker is so important, especially now when working from home. It is so easy to send out inappropriate emails or comment in a non-professional manner, because we don’t have to be in the office as often. According to a 2023 Marketplace Study, office etiquette is slipping. It is important to remember that most people tend to have long, elephant-like memories when it comes to work, whether it be good or bad. Taking the high road should always be your goal even if it means a short-term sacrifice.

Canadians will work one third of their life or the equivalent to 90,000 hours. That’s a lot of time if you’re not happy. Creating a great “work karma” makes life better, makes businesses more successful, and makes workers more productive. It should be the goal of every business, large or small, to foster a good environment. Here are some tips to do so.

1. Never bad-mouth people, even when they are deserving. Try not to lower yourself into a “bash-fest.” If others look to you for reinforcement of their cattiness, simply shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, or shake your head in bewilderment rather than contributing to the conversations.

2. Never break a confidence. It seems nowadays, no one can keep a secret anymore, but we should definitely try to.

3. Thank a person who has done you a good turn and not just with an email; put some feeling into it. Certain favours are worth a phone call, a handwritten thank you note, flowers or a lunch out. Always be gracious and don’t let being too busy be the reason for you not thanking someone.

4. Compliment your co-workers to other people, especially management. This not only helps the co-worker, but it makes you look good too.

5. When you leave an employer, never bad-mouth people in your former company, (no matter how much you believe they deserve it). You never want to be known as the complainer of your prior “evil-boss.” New interested co-workers love to listen to stories, but remember, this will most likely reflect badly on you.

As a last tip for a good “work karma,” try to always be transparent. Remember that people don’t know what you know unless you tell them and keep them up-to-date. It is so difficult to be collaborative when you are missing key facts. Pooling resources and creating a diverse work environment allows businesses to lean on the different backgrounds, skills, and experiences of their staff to create new ideas and innovative approaches for future growth.

Christine Ibbotson is an author, finance writer, national radio host, and is now on CTV Morning Live, and CTV News @6 syndicated across Canada. Send your questions through her website at

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