Inappropriate Workplace Conduct

  | 4 min read
Workplace conduct

Every company has policies which are meant to create a friendly working environment where everyone feels safe and can thus, focus on their work. While there are standard policies based on labour laws such as policies on discrimination, each company has additional policies based on the unique environment in which it operates.

On the other hand, there are standard codes of conduct which one is supposed to adhere to, whether they are part of the organization’s policy or not. These are important standards to observe as they create a good working relationship between you and your colleagues. The standards can help you relate better with your colleagues, which will eventually make the workplace more enjoyable for you.

Here are codes of conduct that you should adhere to, even if they are not expressly communicated in your workplace policy;

  1. Using Offensive Language

Some people are known to use colourful language in their communication. This could be because this has been their standard language for them, especially in their social circles. However, as much as the workplace can be part of your social circle, you should keep in mind that some of your colleagues may find this kind of language offensive.

To be sure that you are not offending anyone, learn to use official language. Using courteous words and being mindful of those around you is a good place to start. Remember, not everyone at work may have the kind of social life you have privately and this means that they do not share your values and culture.

  1. Making Inappropriate Comments

It is almost a social culture in the country to comment about how someone looks or compliment their dress codes. However, while this may be the norm, it can come across as being intrusive to some people. This is especially when commenting on or complementing the dress code of people who you do not interact with casually.

Professional conduct requires that you do not comment on the personal aspects of a person, as they may take offence. By all means, try and keep your interactions at work professional. This will also help you earn respect from your colleagues.

  1. Lacking Courtesy

It is almost the norm for seniors to treat their subordinates with contempt. This is derived from the culture of one’s elders being always right. However, as the workplace changes, it is becoming increasingly common for subordinates to be more knowledgeable or as knowledgeable as their juniors. Due to the culture of seniors always being right, some seniors treat their juniors with no respect, to the extent of shouting at them.

The truth is, a workplace is a place where people should act as peers. While everyone may not be at the same level, courtesy is an important trait to have, regardless of whom one is engaging. Shouting at your colleagues or being rude towards them shows a lack of emotional intelligence, an important trait to have in the modern workplace. As a general rule, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.

  1. Not Taking Responsibility for One’s Actions

Granted, you cannot always be right. On the other hand, one has to make mistakes as no one is perfect. However, while this is inevitable, some people simply refuse to take responsibility for their actions. This means that they always pass on the blame to other people, which destroys the cohesiveness of the team.

Taking responsibility means that you acknowledge your role in the failure of a project and you have learned from your mistakes. It is also a sign of leadership as it is an indication that you will not throw people under the bus at the slightest provocation. Always own up to your mistakes as it is a sign that you can be trusted to do the right thing and be honest when you are wrong.

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.