Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Don't let questionable work habits tarnish your reputation

I have encountered several workers who have recently begun reporting to new managers. Many of them are experts in their field and have been employed with their current companies for ten years or more. Unfortunately, these long-term employees are experiencing difficulties adapting to their new manager’s rules. They have been written up, reprimanded and even fired. Most of these instances relate to sloppy work habits and questionable behaviors that were overlooked by former managers but are unacceptable under the new regime. Here is a sampling of behaviors found to be unacceptable:

1. Continuing to submit expenses for reimbursement several months after the expense was incurred even after a new policy was put in place requiring all reimbursable expenses to be submitted within one month of occurrence.

2. Continuing to arrive a minute or two late every single day after being warned tardiness was no longer going to be tolerated.

3. Selling outside of the employee’s territory or product line. Don’t assume your new manager will continue your former manager's practice of not enforcing territory lines. Your new manager may have been brought in set up structure and accountability in the department.

4. Signing customer's name to legal documents. In order to save time and gas money, the salesman, with the customer’s permission, signed the customers signature to a document missed in the closing process. The salesman’s new manager viewed this as forgery.

5. Using company computers to send joke emails despite the company’s new policy forbidding it. Many employees forget computers are company property. Even without a company policy, think twice before forwarding a joke email; what you consider to be a funny a co-worker, customer or boss may find to be offensive, a waste of company time and resources. If you must forward joke emails do so to family and friends only from your home computer.

6. Refusing to attend required training because employee was too busy and felt his years of experience exempted him from further training. The new manager concluded this employee wasn’t a team player.

Your new manager will not care about your seniority and past sales records if you do not comply with his/her new policies and procedures. With the economy in the doldrums and new jobs increasingly hard to come by do your career a favor and clean up sloppy, questionable work habits before your new manager arrives.

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