Even though you are great at searching available your dream hospitality jobs, freelance gigs, corporate works or those work that enables you to do what you love to do, we still create mistakes along the way. Even the best of us make mistakes. It’s part of being human, and it’s how we learn and grow. While most mistakes can be forgiven and overlooked in the workplace, there are some types of behaviors that are just plain unacceptable at work. These mistakes and behaviors will often result in disciplinary actions, from written and verbal warnings to immediate termination of employment. Regardless of what line of work you are in, here are ten things that will get you in big trouble at work.
1. Using the computer for personal use. This seems to be an epidemic in the modern workplace. About fifty percent of the employees I have fired over the past few years were fired because they felt it was their right to use company property in order to chat with friends, play games, or shop online. Playing games on company time while using company property is unacceptable, plain and simple.
2. Irresponsible spending. It is easy to spend someone else’s money. Many employees who are involved in product ordering and purchasing supplies are under the impression that their employer has inexhaustible wealth. This is not the case. When we trust an employee with a business credit card or checking account, we expect an employee to use them responsibly, not go on a shopping spree. Certain things, like ink cartridges and paper clips, are legitimate purchases. Other things, like personalized coffee mugs for the break room, are not.
3. Ego. Making statements like “That’s not my job” or “That job is beneath me” are surefire ways to get on your employer’s bad side. Either you are a team player or you are not. There is no middle ground. Part of being a team player is to do the occasional grunt work when it is required.
4. Taking excessive sick days. If everyone else in your workplace misses three or four days a year due to sickness, and you miss thirty-five, you just might want to update your resume because you will soon be looking for a new job.
5. Sexual harassment. The workplace is not your personal dating scene. Come to work ready to work, not to hook up with the new girl in the marketing department. Not only is this behavior unprofessional, but it places your employer at great risk. Settling sexual harassment lawsuits aren’t cheap, and they can tarnish a company’s reputation.
6. Theft. Which is worse: stealing a car or stealing a stapler from your office? They are both the same. Theft is theft, and it is wrong. Just as you can’t murder someone “a little bit”, you can’t steal a little bit. Whether you steal a dime or steal a million dollars, you are still committing an immoral and illegal act.
7. Arguing with a client or customer. The customer is always right, even when the customer is wrong.
8. Missing scheduled meetings. Most employees are expected to attend staff meetings, whether they like it or not. Habitually missing mandatory staff meetings shows that you are not a team player. If it were permissible to miss a mandatory staff meeting, it would be called an optional staff meeting.
9. Bad attitude. An employer would rather have a dozen mediocre workers with good attitudes than a dozen outstanding workers with bad attitudes.
10. Failure to take responsibility. We all make mistakes, and good employees own up to them. Constantly pointing the finger at other employees will not get you out of trouble; it will only show your employer that you are incapable of taking responsibility for your actions.
These are the ten workplace sins that may not only result in the loss of a job, but a loss of reputation as well.