Are you displaying adolescent behaviours at work? Reality Check!

August 21, 20158:13 am518 views

Whining, pouting and temper tantrums are no longer confined to elementary school playgrounds or reality TV show reunions. A recent CareerBuilder survey proves that adolescent behaviours is prevalent at workplaces more common today.

The survey findings reveal that, 3 in 4 employees (77 percent) have witnessed some type of childish behaviour among colleagues in the workplace. This national survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between May 14 and June 3, 2015, and included a representative sample of more than 3,000 full-time, U.S. workers.

Top 10 Adolescent Behaviours in the Workplace

Some child-like behaviour never seems to die young, and they are carried forward at workplaces to be witnessed by colleagues that make or break your image at work. These are some common adolescent behaviour observed, according to CareerBuilder survey:

  1. Whine: 55 percent
  2. Pout over something that didn’t go his/her way: 46 percent
  3. Tattle on another co-worker: 44 percent
  4. Play a prank on another co-worker: 36 percent
  5. Make a face behind someone’s back: 35 percent
  6. Form a clique: 32 percent
  7. Start a rumor about a co-worker: 30 percent
  8. Storm out of the room: 29 percent
  9. Throw a tantrum: 27 percent
  10. Refuse to share resources with others: 23 percent

See: Sexism at Workplace Ramifies Itself

Real-Life Incidents of Childishness at Work

These behaviours do not go unnoticed to management and higher ups, either. When asked to name specific immature or adolescent behaviours they have seen at work, employers reported the following observations of one or more employees:

  • Company owner threw tantrums, yelled and slammed doors when he didn’t get his way.
  • Employee hid to get away from duties and work responsibility.
  • Employee intentionally set up a co-worker to get him/her in trouble.
  • Employee ate other employees’ food from the company refrigerator.
  • Employee blocked parking spots to prevent other employees from parking closer to the front door.
  • Employee gossiped about all of his direct reports, and then pretended to be their advocate.
  • Employee constantly pulled up inappropriate content on her cell phone and showed it to her “clique.”
  • Employee went to lunch and never came back.

Playing Around or Playing with Fire?

Displaying adolescent behaviour in the workplace can also take a toll on one’s professional brand. An earlier 2015 CareerBuilder survey among employers found that certain adolescent behaviours can have a negative impact on an employee’s chances of being promoted, including:

  • Negativity: A majority of employers (62 percent) say they are less likely to promote employees who have a negative or pessimistic attitude (whining, pouting, etc.).
  • Vulgar language: More than half of employers (51 percent) consider vulgar language an indication that an employee is not ready for promotion.
  • Gossip: Nearly half of employers (44 percent) say they would think twice before moving an employee who participates in office gossip up the ranks.
  • Sloppiness: Employees who do not clean up after themselves can hurt their chances for a promotion in the eyes of 36 percent of employers.

“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,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “But there’s a fine line between innocent fun and inappropriate behaviour. Actions like spreading rumours, ‘tattling,’ and forming cliques to exclude others can be perceived as mean-spirited, bullying and even harassment.”

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Also read: Are Asians more Accepting of Workplace Bullying?

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