According to CareerBuilder, incidents of the kind of behaviour you might expect (and yet still not tolerate) from kids are prevalent in workplaces. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents say they have witnessed something that fits the charge.
Top of the list is whining. We’ve all had one of those to deal with where nothing is ever right, nothing is ever working, nothing is ever their fault! Not far behind is sulking because something didn’t go their way and gossiping or complaining about a co-worker.
Pranks, making up rumours, refusing to share and even throwing a tantrum are all regular occurrences in workplaces according to the survey.
“Some degree of what we may consider 'adolescent' conduct can be harmless, enabling employees to let off some steam and even promote a sense of camaraderie in the office,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder.
“But there's a fine line between innocent fun and inappropriate behaviour. Actions like spreading rumours, 'tattling,' and forming cliques to exclude others can be perceived as mean-spirited, bullying and even harassment.”
Keeping a close eye on workplace ‘banter’ and childish behaviour is becoming more necessary and can be linked with changes in society including parenting.
With more parents taking a soft approach to discipline, schools unable to take adequate steps to deal with disruptive students and a backdrop of the celebrity culture creating a “your life, your way” mind-set, it is inevitable that workplace etiquette will become increasingly strained.
Thank goodness for HR!
Rudeness in the workplace: an epidemic
Dealing with bullies in the workplace
How to settle employee disputes
Employees are, it seems, regressing to their childhood or perhaps some people just never really grow up.