Success on the job depends on more than performance. The habits you bring to the workplace affect your level of success as well. Habits are ingrained personal behaviors and practices that influence how you relate to company rules, policies and people. Poor habits create an atmosphere of discontent and conflict with fellow workers and can cause your career to derail. Good habits, of course, have the opposite effect. Examples of habits in the workplace include behavior towards attendance, punctuality, productivity, initiative, conduct and appearance.
Attendance and Punctuality
Habits associated with attendance and punctuality dictate whether or not you come to work regularly and on time. When you take the steps necessary to be at work as scheduled, you show commitment to the company attendance policy. Though an occasional unplanned absence or tardy is allowed, you do not misuse or take undue advantage of such allowances. On the other hand, when you adopt a habit of being chronically absent or late, you demonstrate a complete disregard for the company and its policies.
Productivity habits consist of actions that support a high level of output throughout the workday. As a productive employee, you complete job assignments on time and meet both quality and quantity standards of work. To sustain productivity, you minimize time-wasting habits, such as dealing with personal issues during work hours, taking extended breaks, surfing the Internet, procrastinating and constantly checking email. If there is legitimate downtime between projects, you use that time on professional development or process improvement activities.
Work habits associated with initiative align with being a self starter. As a self starter, you do your job without being asked. You are motivated to find solutions to problems on your own. When you need help, you ask for it rather than remain stuck and make excuses as to why a job is not finished. After you complete a job, you seek out the next important assignment or offer assistance to others as needed.
Working well with mangers and coworkers is necessary for career advancement. Bosses expect employees to conduct themselves in a manner suitable to the workplace. Suitable conduct means using respectful behavior during interactions with bosses and coworkers, even in situations of high stress, disagreement and conflict resolution. The habits you want to avoid include use of abusive or offensive language, being argumentative and uncooperative, being rude, gossiping and bad mouthing the company, bosses and coworkers.
Personal style and clothing choices may not be appropriate for the workplace. Your appearance should meet company dress codes. In the absence of a formal dress code, it is a good idea to mirror the style of the boss or other well-respected coworkers. In general, avoid offensive or revealing clothes and do not skimp on personal grooming. An unkempt or disheveled look, body odor and overly casual clothing, such as tattered jeans, tees and sneakers, are not workplace worthy.
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