Bad work habits have attached to most individuals. Bad habits do not target any particular individual or manager. These bad habits can sneak up on someone without any flags or hints of being present. Unexpected bad work habits can have negative effects on an individual’s relationship with a position in an organization or on the organization itself such as: monetary cost, time cost, performance and good management (Gil, 2015; Smith, 2012; Weinstein, 2017; West and Berman, 2011).
Sometimes when individuals have been in a position at an organization for a lengthy time they can become too complacent and begin to exhibit bad work habits (Chantham, 2016). Other individuals possessed these bad habits prior to employment and brought them along with them their first day on the job. These bad habits do not only affect the individual, but can affect coworkers and the organization. Bad habits can monopolize valuable time (Gil, 2015). These same bad work habits can even cost an individual’s position in the organization (Smith, 2012).
If an individual possesses only one bad habit it may not be detrimental to retaining employment. But, over time, if it continues the organization may grow weary waiting for this habit to cease. Bad work habits can reflect poorly upon an individual (Smith, 2012). In the beginning a bad habit may only annoy coworkers but repeated offenses can cause others in the organization to steer clear of the individual all together. These individuals who practice bad work habits may eventually find complete isolation from others within the organization. Coworkers may eventually complain to management. If one coworker complains it may not carry much weight, but when more than one joins and brings the bad habit to management’s attention the result could be costly. These bad work habits can end an individual’s career. If an individual is terminated due to bad work habits other organizations may become aware. Finding a position in another organization after a termination can become difficult. Managing away bad work habits can literally save an individual’s job (Smith, 2012).
Many individuals are not even aware of possession of bad work habits. To advance in an organization, individuals need to make strategic efforts to self-examine and identify any potential or existing bad work habits (Smith, 2012). Focus should be to achieve real results and avoid unproductive behavior (Kaupin, 2013). This will aid in the individual becoming a value instead of a cost to an organization.
Bad habits are not coworker copyrighted. Mangers can possess bad habits that can spread throughout an organization quickly. This bad leadership has negative effects on the employees in the organization. A study conducted by Dr. Allan Lee in which he evaluated two separate groups focused on managers, possession of bad work habits, and the effects on employees. The employees became so affected by the managers bad work behavior that employees too began taking unnecessary sick days, taking office supplies and even being abusive towards other coworkers. Managers not completing tasks which in turn caused issues with others in the organization led to employee’s commitment to the organization to reduce significantly (Lauren, 2018).
A study that was conducted in 2006 used a mail survey of city managers and administrators in six hundred fifty United States cities and followed up with telephone interviews. The study found that bad work habits by managers reduce performance. These management bad work habits were greatly present in forty-five percent of the cities. Just a few managers with bad work habits profoundly and negatively affected the organization’s performance and good management work habits. The bad crossed out the good which gives relevance to the concern of bad work habits possessed by managers (West and Berman, 2011).
Not all managers set out to utilize bad work habits. Sometimes they come on due to being overworked by an organization. This can lead to feelings of not having enough hours in a day to complete tasks in a timely manner. This can result in bad work habits that can cause more harm than good (Dunnigan, 2009). Matt Rizai CEO of Workiva notes bad work habits poison work environments. “Bad habits and a lack of professional development can be costly to any organization, not only in dollars, but also in time and a decrease in quality of life,” he stresses (Weinstein, 2017).
There are many bad work habits individuals and managers practice in organizations. This paper will address six of those bad habits and provide strategies to overcome them. These bad work habits are as follows: messy desk, body language, poor time management, email etiquette, dishonesty and negativity.