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Adult Behavior Patterns in the Workplace

by Kristine Tucker

Acting like an adult in the workplace means you approach your work responsibilities seriously. However, not all adult behavior patterns are positive or beneficial to the company. Some behaviors encourage self-discipline, profitability, and teamwork, but others lower morale and lead to workplace problems. Employees should strive to meet workplace demands, but managers are generally responsible for correcting and modifying any unfavorable behavior patterns.

Productivity

Healthy behavior patterns are established in the workplace when employees feel motivated to perform well. According to professor Edward Lawler's article in "Forbes" magazine, employees who receive rewards as a result of their performance often strive to maintain high levels of productivity. Some employees have a strong work ethic because of their upbringing or personal values, but others adopt a hard-working behavior pattern because they want to reap the rewards. Most motivated and productive workers experience job satisfaction and are fully engaged in their work duties and responsibilities.

Compassion

Happy employees and positive moods lead to improved customer service and a healthier workplace, according to Dr. Emma Seppala's article in "Psychology Today." Managers often think a stern approach will motivate their employees, but a kind and compassionate workplace is generally more effective at encouraging long-term profitability. Compassionate employees and managers don't overlook negligence or condone poor business practices, but they work hard to promote a team-centered environment. Employees are expected to fulfill their job responsibilities, but the team focuses on friendliness, cooperation, and unified goals.

Bullying

Even though there are positive adult behavior patterns in most workplaces, some are plagued with negative traits, such as bullying. Bullying is a poor response to work-related insecurities and often disrupts workflow, making it difficult for employees to stay on task. Bullying in the corporate world is usually about money, power, and promotion, according to an article in "Bloomberg Businessweek." Co-workers may use bullying to exert their superiority, even if they don't have the authority to make important decisions. Supervisors may use bullying to subdue subordinates or discredit those who threaten their managerial role. Bullying is destructive and creates an unhappy work environment.

Rescuing

Managers and co-workers who are people-pleasers often rescue ill-performing employees because they don't want the hassle or stress of correcting unwanted behavior. Workplace rescuers enable destructive behavior because they take the blame for missed deadlines, skipped meetings, and disenchanted clients, according to an article on the Lab Manager website. This negative behavior encourages laziness in unproductive workers and leads to burn-out for employees who spend much of their time covering for others.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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