By Kawania H. Wooten CMP

Scary workplace behavior isn’t just annoying, it can negatively affect a business’ productivity and finances Some researchers say that poor workplace behavior can cost a company thousands of dollars daily by destroying trust, slowing down productivity, and squelching creativity.

Before you can figure out how to mitigate problem behaviors amongst your team members, you will first need to identify them.  Here are five behaviors that my team and I consider downright scary —

1. Poor Punctuality. This type of behavior slows down production, breeds resentment, and could affect your brand.  If you practice poor punctuality when you meet with clients, vendor partners, and/or board members, poor punctuality could negatively affect your company’s brand.  Here are some examples of poor punctuality —

  • Consistent tardiness (Traffic doesn’t give you a pass for always being late.)
  • Arrive on time, but you take 15 to 20 minutes to before you settle down at your desk first.
  • Arriving at meetings 5 minutes (or more) after they begin.

2. Gossiping. When a team member gossips, s/he typically has privileged information about another or the business and proceeds to reveal that privileged information to those who have no business knowing it.  Gossiping can unfairly hurt reputations, damage credibility, and destroy the morale of the team.  Here are some examples of workplace gossiping —

  • “Water Cooler Deets” or “Dishing the Dirt.” Sharing news about a boss, staff member or coworker that you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing if that coworker were present.
  • “Slander.” Speaking untrue information that could affect another’s reputation.  This act isn’t illegal, but it is definitely grounds for a law suit.
  • “Planting Seeds.” Insinuating a rumor which could damage a colleague’s reputation or a company’s brand.

3. Defensive Behavior. When a staff member behaves defensively, s/he tends to devote a considerable amount of energy toward defending himself or herself in every day tasks.  Sometimes, defensive behavior can cause team members to feel as if they have to “walk on egg shells.”  And, as a result, slow down communication, operations, and production. Some examples of defensive behavior are noted below —

  • Taking everything personally
  • Raising your voice during a discussion because you don’t feel like you were “heard”
  • Insubordination
  • Storming out of a room

4. Ghosting. “Ghosting” is the act of severing a relationship with a person and/or a business without notification or explanation.  No matter how justified this behavior may seem to some, many consider the act of “ghosting” to be immature and passive aggressive.  Here are some of the different examples “ghosting” —

  • Quitting a job without informing your boss or supervisor.
  • Not returning a vendor’s calls or e-mails because you didn’t select that vendor for your business.
  • Laying off employees and locking them out of the system before they can collect their belongings.

5. Bullying

Examples of Behaving like a Bully —

  • Gossiping and spreading rumors.
  • Calling coworkers names even if it is supposed to be a joke.
  • Talking “over” a coworker in order to get your point across.
  • Threatening a coworker.
  • Ridiculing a coworker.