Chances are, you aren’t looking to get fired. Neither are thousands of others who suddenly find themselves being handed their walking papers without warning. The reasons vary greatly, but the fact remains that thousands of people are fired every day for engaging in activities during business hours that are less than desirable. Some of these actions are simply the result of a lack of common sense (or a willful ignorance), while others are a clear violation of company policy. Many simply don’t comprehend that the simple things they do every day can result in their termination. Here is a list of some of the most common offenses that get people fired.
1. Spending Too Much Time on the Internet
The computer at your place of business is company property, and so is the software allowing you access to the Internet. It doesn’t much common sense to realize that you shouldn’t be surfing the Internet while on company time, but many choose to ignore this rule, which can remain unwritten, or might even be found in the employee handbook. From browsing all manner of websites, including porn, to reading and sending personal email, to spending too much time on social networking sites like Facebook, all are technically frowned upon.
Most companies today have some sort of monitoring software in place to see check employee’s computer activity. This could be something simple like measuring bandwidth usage, or something more advanced, revealing every keystroke you make. Regardless, if you take advantage of the Internet access available at your company to do conduct personal business on company time, don’t be surprised if it results in your termination.
2. Abusive Behavior
Most offices have at least one employee whose demeanor is perhaps a bit abrasive. But that isn’t necessarily ground for termination. However, some employees take their abrasiveness to the next level by being rude, crude, and insulting. They may think they are simply joking around, but not everyone will think their comments are as funny as they do, and all it takes is one employee to express concern for management to consider possible termination.
Companies need to take employee concerns about insulting comments very seriously today. They could face a lawsuit if they allow racist, sexual or other insulting comments and abusive behavior to go unchecked.
3. Stealing From the Company
Obviously a serious offense that typically results in swift termination, but many employees believe they won’t be caught. The offense can range from simply stealing a few office supplies, to revealing confidential company information, to lying about time worked so that the employee gets a few more dollars added to their paycheck. The usual reasons for such behavior can be traced to low morale and employee dissatisfaction.
Many employers are unwilling or unable to give raises or other compensation to employees that have worked for the company for a long period of time, and the employee becomes disgruntled. Feeling that they deserve more than they are receiving, the employee finds other ways to compensate himself or herself. Regardless of the reasoning, there simply is no viable excuse for stealing from the company.
4. Taking Credit for Someone Else’s Work
An employee who hands in someone else’s work as their own, or who accepts credit for work knowing full well that they didn’t do it, is basically lying to management. If the does finds out, that employee is going to have a lot of explaining to do, and likely isn’t going to be looked upon favorably by either management or his fellow co-workers. That is of course the employee is lucky enough not to be terminated, but this is unlikely. It will be hard to ever trust this employee again, so termination seems a feasible option.
5. Working While Under the Influence
Whether you are coming to work drunk or under the influence of drugs, or choosing to imbibe during work hours, this is a big no-no. It doesn’t take a genius to realize this is wrong, but many still do it anyway. Some companies may choose to try and help the employee if they feel that the individual is a valuable asset who is simply suffering from a substance abuse problem, but this is a rare scenario.
6. Searching For Another Job While At Your Current One
If you’re searching for another job, chances are you aren’t really going to care much if you get caught and get fired. But chances are also likely that you weren’t ready to leave until you secured a new job, so that you could keep collecting a paycheck. So be smart, and wait till you get home to conduct your job search.
7. Not Working Well With Others
Employers want employees that work well with others, communicate effectively, and can be productive in a team situation. If you’ve got a bad attitude, tend to spread gossip around the office, don’t pull your weight with team projects, or don’t take responsibility for your mistakes, you could be facing termination. Of course not everyone is a great team player, and not everyone possesses excellent communication skills, but there is a big difference between not being as skilled as others versus just being intolerable.
About the Author: Jennifer Carter writes on career advancement for Outbounding.com. In her spare time she’s quite handy and is currently working on the 40 hour hazwoper online at Etraintoday.com: http://etraintoday.com/course-catalog/hazwoper/hazwoper-40-hour-course/