There is a time and place for everything, and while we all a few bad days at work there are also times when we can comfortably let our hair down.
But your overall behaviour at work can underpin your reputation as a talented professional, and it’s worth recognising the types of immature performance in the workplace that can see your career stall.
Immature performance in the workplace – a career killer
What you say and do at work matters because even if you are the most diligent employee, just a few moments of immature performance in the workplace can cause lasting damage to your professional reputation.
Inappropriate behaviour can offend co-workers, your manager and customers or clients, potentially costing the company dearly in terms of lost productivity and even lost business. These are not the sort of outcomes that will boost your career so be to mindful of what you say – and what you do, at work.
A negative outlook
Employers look for professionals who bring a “can do” attitude and enthusiasm to the workplace. Taking a pessimistic approach, and seeing only hurdles rather than challenges to be overcome, can drain the energy from everyone on your team, leaving your co-workers equally dispirited. Ultimately, a negative outlook can result in declines in office morale and productivity.
Maintaining a positive outlook on your role, your team and the company can be very uplifting for everyone around you. Rather than creating a toxic environment, positivity is often infectious and it can make the workplace a more pleasant and rewarding place to be.
Vulgar language and swearing are prime examples of immature performance in the workplace, and it’s something that can seriously impact your career.
Not only is vulgar language offensive to your colleagues, it also detracts from your professionalism. Even when bad language isn’t designed to offend, it demonstrates a serious lack of communication and interpersonal skills – qualities that all employers look for.
Using crude language can become habitual and you may not even realise what you’re saying. The key is to stop and think before you speak, using words that reflect positively on your skills and ability.
In a team-based environment it’s perfectly natural to engage in conversation with your colleagues. However, when those conversations involve malicious rumours and chatter about fellow staff members, you run the risk of being labelled the office gossiper, and that’s not a reputation you want to have.
Not only is gossip a time-waster that can impact your productivity, it can also suggest you are indiscreet and unable to keep confidential information to yourself. Gossip can also be extremely hurtful to your co-workers, potentially leading to complaints about your behaviour.
Aim to keep your personal thoughts to yourself, and when you are in discussions with colleagues, stick to non-controversial topics and work-related matters.
Childish jokes and pranks may be your idea of harmless fun but they rate high on the list of immature performance in the workplace. What’s funny to you may not be so humorous to a co-worker, and in addition to wasting company time, pranks can be outright dangerous, potentially creating an unsafe work environment that could expose your employer to legal action.
Sharing a joke with your team can help to build camaraderie and relieve pressure during busy periods. Constantly aiming to be the “funny” person though can eventually mean that your team and your manager, won’t take you seriously at all.
By making high quality work your top priority, and steering clear of immature performance in the workplace, your professional reputation will soar – and your career will thank you for it.