The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What are the three most unprofessional things an employee can do on the job?” is by Ed Fleischman, CEO of The Execu|Search Group.
In my over 30 years of management, I’ve witnessed numerous changes regarding acceptable behavior in the workplace. Businesses need to evolve with the changing workforce, but there are some actions that employers should never tolerate and employees should avoid. This applies to any employee, whether they’re a senior partner or a junior associate. These behaviors run the risk of not only potentially hurting your reputation but derailing career aspirations.
Lying/covering up errors
Employees need to be accountable for their work, and lying to a team member or supervisor after committing an error will end up harming not only the individual, but the department and company as a whole. If an individual does not own up to their mistake, the error may balloon and create additional problems down the line. By quickly taking responsibility and presenting a supervisor with a possible solution, employees can avoid the potentially disastrous results of sweeping an error under the rug.
See also: 3 Things Successful People Never Do
Drinking too much at a company event
Social events hosted by an employer are intended to be fun, but team members need to understand they are still expected to adhere to company policies. Often, months of planning have gone into creating these events, and if an employee gets too drunk, they not only disrespect their colleagues but run the risk of burning bridges both professionally and personally. Employees should have fun at company parties, but remain mindful that they are first and foremost amongst colleagues.
Using social media inappropriately
At work, employees are using computers that belong to the company. Some organizations block social media sites, and some do not, but in any case it is critical for employees to be mindful of what they are posting. Many companies have had issues with team members sharing negative material about their employers on social media. Although everyone is entitled to their own opinion, posting negatively about your company can create major issues, or even termination. Additionally, it is important to maintain a clean, professional social media presence in general. Professionals should only share content that they would be comfortable with their company management or clients/customers seeing.