Juvenile behaviour a common occurrence in the workplace
While we like to assume an organisation full of adults will act with due professionalism, a recent survey revealed that this doesn’t always hold true.
CareerBuilder found that 77 per cent of workers and HR managers had witnessed childish behaviour in their workplaces. The most common example of this poor conduct was whining, with 59 per cent stating that they had seen this occur amongst their co-workers. Surprisingly, pouting was high on the list (46 per cent) and tattling was not far behind at 44 per cent.
In some cases, the office environment seemed to resemble a high school rather than a professional workplace, with 32 per cent of those surveyed saying they had seen cliques form within the office. An additional 30 per cent had heard rumours spread around and another 29 per cent witnessed a co-worker storming out of a room.
While the behaviour can be taken in a humorous way, there can be negative consequences, as Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder, explained.
“Some degree of what we may consider ‘adolescent’ conduct can be harmless, enabling employees to let off some steam and even promote a sense of camaraderie in the office,” she said.
“But there’s a fine line between innocent fun and inappropriate behaviour.”
It’s not just fellow workers and HR managers who take note when lines are crossed. In fact, 62 per cent of manager said that they would be less likely to promote someone who they had seen engaging in “negative or pessimistic” behaviour such as whining or pouting. The majority (52 per cent) also viewed swearing and vulgar language as a sign that an employee was not ready for increased responsibility.
We all like to have a sense of fun in the office but it can go too far, In these cases, HR consulting may help to approach serious issues with immature workers to ensure they are not letting themselves down or causing irritation to others in the workplace.