Avoid Vexing Your Boss With These Workplace Fouls

You don’t have to be a toady to get ahead at work, but staying on your boss’s good side is a positive strategy. Smart employees do their best to steer clear of these management pet peeves:

• Tardiness/excessive absenteeism. Managers can’t make plans if they don’t know when—or if—you’re going to show up for work. Do your best to be on time and stay healthy.

• Procrastination. Don’t waste time. Managers depend on you to get timely results, not make excuses for lateness. If you run into a problem, tell your manager right away so he or she can plan accordingly.

• Drama. This can include gossip, turf battles, and constant sniping between employees. Stay focused on getting your job done in a professional manner no matter what personal issues might intrude.

• Dishonesty. If a manager can’t trust you to tell the truth, your whole working relationship is likely to crash and burn. Tell your boss what’s going on, even if it’s bad news. A good manager will appreciate your truthfulness.

• Insubordination. Few managers will tolerate an employee who openly challenges him or her for very long. Learn the difference between raising issues and making trouble. Even when you disagree with your manager, do it with tact.

• Negativity. An employee who’s constantly complaining, or always pointing out the down side of every decision, isn’t helping his or her boss. You don’t have to put on a Pollyanna act, but do your best to be positive about what’s happening in your workplace to show your boss that you’re a team player and that you can get along well with coworkers.