Habits in the Workplace

By Jason Richmond / February 24, 2017

When employees first start working at a new place, they try to do everything right. They have good manners, are punctual, and are overly nice to everyone because they want to make a good first impression and show that they are an asset to the workplace. However, as time goes on many employees start to get comfortable in the workplace, which is a good thing until it goes too far. Becoming too comfortable in the workplace can be detrimental especially when it starts to interfere with productivity and effectiveness.

Each company adopts and creates their own culture to fit their specific needs. Companies have a specific way and routine that they follow every single day, but sometimes the employees start to slip from their everyday routines. There is a time when being too casual starts to hurt the business as a whole. There are certain aspects of the workplace to look towards when wondering if things have gotten out of hand. For one, look at social media. Almost everyone has Facebook today, and sometimes it can be a little bit addicting. The average time spent on social media when taking a break is 20 minutes. That is a long time spent away from doing work that actually needs to be done, and that is assuming the employee only checks once a day. Multiple breaks could lead to hours of work left undone due to social media. Plus, there are many more social media hubs that take our attention as well such as Instagram, Twitter, and many, many more. As a leader you can block those sites on company computers to stop the wasted time, or you could have faith in your employees that they will do what is right. Reviewing company missions and values every once in awhile will remind your employees of why they are really there. This will motivate them to do the best they can be and make them thankful for the job they already have.

Another bad habit that can lead to workplace laxity is a lack of manners. When it comes to this, one bad manner can spiral to the rest of the company. Always say please and thank you, and introduce yourself to new co-workers who may not know you. No harm can be done from having the correct manners, and it doesn’t even take much effort to do it. Being rude and mannerless may result in a domino effect that causes many people to be rude, which leads to feelings getting hurt and grudges being held. Nobody wants that to happen in the office so prevent it by promoting respect throughout the office. Hold people to higher standards that way they hold each other accountable and respect flows through the workplace.

The best way to fix causal workplace habits is to promote workplace productivity. Encourage employees to use technology responsibly. Let them communicate with it throughout the workplace to be more efficient, and allow them to use apps that let them stay up to date on what is going on in the office. Another fix of bad habits is to set goals so the employees have something to work towards. Once the goals are set, motivate them to reach them. Do not allow the employees to become bored with monotonous routines. Providing incentives is one of the best ways to get the employees rolling. Come up with employee of the week or month. Some type of reward that the employees can keep in the back of their mind while they are working towards reaching their goals.

If all employees have become too casual and won’t fix their ways even when little reminders of the company’s mission and values have been stated, it is time for a leader to step in. Allowing workplace casualness can be detrimental to the whole team and may even spread to other employees, which is a company’s worst nightmare. First off, the leader should intervene and address the problem. Have a company meeting and explain what has been going on and how to fix it. Give examples of what you would like to see in the workplace or offer help for anyone who needs to get back on track. Address the problems that need to be changed, and if nothing changes you may have to turn to termination of the problematic employees. That is obviously the worst case scenario, but leaders need to do what is best for their company, and having a lax employee in there won’t help anyone or the business.

All in all, some employees need a few reminders here and there of what they are supposed to be doing. Allowing employees to become too casual in the workplace is unacceptable and needs to be addressed and fixed right away. If the problem goes on for too long, it can be detrimental to productivity and the rest of the company. A few reminders of the company’s missions and values, and the employees should straighten right up. After all, we all become a little distracted sometimes. Employees just need a few reminders every once in awhile of why they really come to work every day.

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