Poor etiquette at work could cost you your job

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 05:30 hrs

Showing annoying habits at work can hold back employees from being promoted or even get them fired from the job.

There are lasting consequences for those workers who attract the wrong kind of attention, said etiquette expert Anna Musson, of The Good Manners Company.

"Having poor etiquette is like having bad breath ... no one will tell you, but eventually it will define you and you will be left off guest lists, promotion lists and any kind of shortlist," Stuff.co.nz quoted Musson as saying.

Fellow expert Jodie Bache-McLean, director of June Dally-Watkins Education and Training, said business clients are becoming more aware of how workplace behaviour affects the bottom line.

According to Musson, examples of bad workplace behaviour range from sexual innuendo and crude jokes (either spoken or circulated by email), being drunk at a work function and swearing, to talking loudly or stealing food from the fridge.

Some poor behaviour is less overt, such as an "inability to be completely present", Musson said. For example, texting while someone is trying to talk to you, checking your phone during a meeting or typing while you're on the phone.

"People who display poor etiquette demonstrate to management that they are not suitable for a promotion," she stated.

She asserted that the consequences of poor etiquette could include missing out on promotions and sales, or being fired and unemployable.

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