Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / DEC. 15, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Realize you're Behaving Inappropriately at Work and How to Correct It

When it comes to job success, there’s more to the equation than having the right education, skills, and experience. The things you say, how you dress, and even what and how you eat your lunch can all have an impact on your co-workers, and in turn, on your overall success in the organization.

If you’re having a hard time deciding between what’s appropriate and what’s not -- or even how to fix problems once they’re there, here are some steps to take:

You get “the look.”

Some co-workers are just downright mean or catty and will raise their eyebrows at nearly anything. But if you’re eliciting that type of reaction from people who are usually pretty even-keeled, it’s a very good sign that you’re behaving inappropriately at work.

Co-workers gossip about you.

You might be doing everything that your job description dictates -- and more -- but if you’re being rude to your co-workers, making sexual comments, or showing up to work reeking of booze, for example, that’s going to rub people the wrong way. In turn, you might find yourself with a diminished ability to make a sale or to get a co-worker to help you crank out a project that needs finishing.

You’re not seeing the success you think you should.

You might be doing everything that your job description dictates -- and more -- but if you’re being rude to your co-workers, making sexual comments, or showing up to work reeking of booze, for example, that’s going to rub people the wrong way. In turn, you might find yourself with a diminished ability to make a sale or to get a co-worker to help you crank out a project that needs finishing.

You hear about it from your boss.

Perhaps the worst sign of all that you’re acting inappropriately: Your boss brings it up. Whether it’s as simple as a comment made off-hand or a full discussion inside the walls of your boss’ office, if your superiors are naming specific actions that they want changed, you’d better clean up your act -- and fast. Some bosses fear confrontation more than others, so even if it’s a small comment, take it as a serious sign that you need to stop the inappropriate behaviour.


So how do you fix the problem? In short, use the resources available to you.


Read the employee handbook.

Most workplaces have a specific code of conduct related to what you should or shouldn’t wear, what you can or can’t say, and how you should behave around customers and co-workers. Reviewing that document is a good place to start to remind yourself what’s OK and what’s not.


Take cues from people around you.

Do other people in your office make off-color jokes or drink alcohol on their lunch breaks? Do they act disrespectfully to customers or to the bosses? One big way to get a sense of what’s appropriate is to look at your fellow co-workers and to take a cue from their behavior. That is, so long as those co-workers have good reputations around the office and aren’t branded as troublemakers. Not every workplace is the same, either. In some workplaces, it’s perfectly reasonable to have a beer at lunch; in others, it’s definitely not.


Find a mentor in the workplace.

If you’re really having trouble getting a clue about what’s appropriate, ask for help. Find a manager or more senior co-worker and ask for guidance in improving your behavior. Not only can the mentor help you to correct your behaviour, but you might also get tips on how to climb up the workplace ladder faster. In the best-case scenario, your mentor or “sponsor” will vet you to senior management -- after you’ve cleaned up your act, of course -- and can help you rise in the organization.

Navigating the world of etiquette and appropriate behavior is not always cut-and-dried, but you should always take the time to be conscious of your actions and to be the best employee possible.


Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

drunk businessman
WORKPLACE / MAY 03, 2014

Big or small, the work trip does on some level, provide the opportunity to spend time with your colleagues in a more casual environment, but, at the same time it is work...

How to Determine if You're too Sick to go to Work
WORKPLACE / NOV 04, 2014

Cold and flu season is sneaking up fast. Not only is being sick just plain miserable, it can be hard to know what to do about work. That’s especially true if you don’t...

face and mask
WORKPLACE / AUG 01, 2015

There are 5 basic personality traits, and Extraversion and Introversion are on opposite spectrums of the varying ranges. An extrovert tends to be more engaging and seems...

A Developing Baby Bump: How To Tell Your Boss That You're Pregnant
WORKPLACE / APR 15, 2014

You and your husband bought the test. After two positive readings, you know that it's true. After you calm down from all the excitement, you call your mom and dad...

sick
WORKPLACE / OCT 26, 2014

Cold and flu season is breathing down our necks, and fears of Ebola and entero-68 are likely to cause even more dirty looks aimed at you if you go to work visibly sick...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow