By James Maron

Even in our workplace, we inculcate many bad habits. Even though everyone starts with the best of intentions, over time, bad habits creep in and can adversely affect the organization. If not identified and taken action against, these bad habits become the company culture. In this article, we will explore five bad habits in the workplace to watch out for.

1. The Blame Game

One of the worst habits that can affect your workplace, blaming others for their deficiencies, is something that many employees do. Some work was not finished in time — someone else did not deliver on time, it is not my fault, and since my work can only be done after his, I couldn’t finish on time.

Recognize this immediately and instill accountability and team values in employees. They need to understand that they are all in it together, and whichever individual is responsible for the debacle, it reflects on the entire team. People need to understand that they can’t get away with it just by blaming someone else.

2. A CYA Attitude

One of the biggest problems plaguing organizations is the cover-your-a** (CYA) attitude that employees have. Things are only going to get done when there is team work, and some employees are quick to point out that they have completed their tasks and therefore are good for now. They ensure that their work is done while not really caring about the overall status of the project. Yes, we understand that individuals need to complete their own tasks but that does not mean that you shoot only to complete your work and rest.

Again, accountability is the key here. Employees need to be made aware that the entire project is dependent on each stakeholder and that each stakeholder has to do everything he or she can to ensure that the project is completed in time.

3. Communication Barriers/Silos

To a certain extent, communication forms the basis for everything that happens at the workplace. Look at the organizations that are doing well, and the odds are that there is open, free, and fair communication that happens there. Deals and transactions can be affected one way or another due to communication, and even mediocre products and services can be sold with good communication. Therefore, it is important that communication in your organization flows in all directions.

There should be sharing and collaboration among business units, and this must be formally encourages with weekly meetings or discussions. At all costs it must be ensured that there is no scope for the formation of communication barriers or silos. Productivity and growth will follow good communication.

Also, this must reflect in professional communication – employees must be able to clearly and concisely explain their ideas to their peers and seniors; e-mail, telephonic, or direct communication must be improved as much as possible.

4. Bad Attitude/Body Language

When things are not working out to the extent that they would want them to, employees might gather a negative attitude. If they did not get the raise they wanted or the position they thought they deserved, it is easy for them to adopt a negative attitude. This could easily rub off on others around the employee. Another thing to watch out for is body language. Non-verbal communication can say a lot about people, and watch out for this in your workforce.

If someone is being aggressive or non-responsive or has any other undesirable traits like employing a bad or negative attitude, it is necessary to make efforts to cure them of those.

5. Tardiness

No, we are not talking about those who come late occasionally; there are those employees who are always tardy and have a general disregard for both their and others’ time. This reflects in everything they do, how fast they complete their administrative tasks, how they turn in their projects, how they deal with their peers, and so on.

Do not tolerate tardiness of any kind. Be firm in letting the employee know that such behavior is unacceptable and that they don’t have a place at the organization if they continue, no matter how well they are performing.