20 Ways to Boost Your Reputation at Work
Following basic office etiquette rules in the first few months at your new job seems like a no-brainer. You make sure to dress appropriately, wear headphones when listening to music, and be mindful of taking conference calls away from your desk so you don’t bother your co-workers.
But as time goes on, you begin to feel more comfortable, and while that’s a positive thing overall, it’s easy to take a few too many liberties. You decide sometimes to make up your own rules. Forgetting a few of the rules your company holds dear can cause your reputation to take a nosedive.
If this happens, though, all is not lost. You can repair the damage. Here are some office etiquette rules to give your reputation that extra boost it needs.
While it’s never a good idea to judge a book by its cover, it’s hard not to when it comes to professional attire.
Your mom told you to always dress for success and you wouldn’t dare go to an interview without looking professional to set a good impression, right? So don't letthat mentality disappear once you become comfortable at work.
Your clothes give others a visual statement of who you are as a person and a professional. And if you constantly wear outfits to work that don’t fit in with the company’s culture, others may perceive you as clueless and careless.
Be Mindful of Foul Language
It’s easy to throw a few curse words into your vocabulary when you become friendly with your co-workers at the office.
While this may fly every now and then, depending on your company’s culture, opt to limit these words as often as possible if you want to seem competent and respectful.
Unless You're a Sailor
Forbes reported that CareerBuilder.com conducted a study that revealed that 81 percent of employers believed that swearing at work “brings an employee's professionalism into question.” So if you feel like your job is already on the rocks, cool it with foul language.
Remember Your Co-Workers Names
Do you remember how it made you feel when someone you met (just once!) remembered your name? Did you feel impressed, special, and did it make you like that person even more?
These are just a few reasons why you should remember others name to help boost your reputation at work.
When you remember other people’s names, it shows that you respect those people and see them as individuals, and care how they perceive you. To help remember anyone’s name, end the conversation by saying their name, and then try to associate an image with their name.
Give Credit to Others For Their Work
Working with someone that constantly takes credit for everything in the office will undoubtedly put a bad taste in your mouth about that person.
You probably won’t view this person as a team player and definitely won’t ask them to help you with anything. That’s why it’s important to be a team player and give credit to others for the work they’ve accomplished — they will appreciate your candor and generosity.
Brighten Their Day
As Cindy Ventrice, president of Potential Unlimited, told The New York Times, "Praise is energizing; we do better when we feel valued."
Plus, the higher the morale in the office, the better the company’s culture can be — and that’s good for your reputation as well.
Don’t Engage in Office Gossip
If you want to boost your reputation, refrain from engaging in the office gossip.
Talking about your co-workers behind their back can make you seem untrustworthy. If this happens often, your co-workers may not believe they can trust you with sensitive information.
Plus, if your boss overhears, she might not believe you’re a good fit for a managerial position — and no one wants to be passed for a promotion for something silly like gossip.
Get to Work on Time
No one will think you’re taking your job seriously if you’re constantly late to work. And if you slide into your desk the minute you are supposed to be working, you will rightly be considered late.
How and when you decide to show up to the office has a huge impact on your reputation — it shows how you value your time, and the time of others.
To change this, keep your word and get to work on time (which means early).
Respect Others' Ideas, and Your Own
No one likes a know-it-all or a 'Negative Nancy'. If you’re constantly putting down others’ ideas or bringing up problems instead of solutions, then you may be perceived as a complainer and not a go-getter.
Instead, allow others to express their ideas and ask them questions to show that you’re interested.
Even when you don’t believe what they said in the meeting will work, there could be a way to find a solution if you communicate instead of shutting an idea down right away.
Express Yourself in a Good Light
You will seem more valuable as an employee if you know how to articulate your own ideas well. While saying “uhms” and “uhs” may fly in candid, friendly conversations.
These “fillers” can make you seem incompetent and lack confidence in what you’re trying to convey to your boss or co-workers.
If you have an important presentation to conduct, practice beforehand. This can help you feel confident when the big day finally comes.
Don’t Come to Work Sick
With today’s technology, there really is no reason why you need to go to work sick, since, basically, you can probably do all of your work from home.
When you go to work when you’re sick, you don’t have time to rest and avoid stress, and you may actually stay sick longer. Besides, you’re contagious. Studies show that you are also more likely to make mistakes.
Your co-workers will thank you for respecting their space and health — which is always a plus for your reputation.
Be Mindful of Emails
Don’t keep people waiting to hear back about a time-sensitive subject. Don’t leave them to constantly circle back to see what’s going on.
If there is a delay, keep the other person in the loop — whether you have the answer or not.
Rule of Thumb
Aim to answer all email within 24 hours. If you don’t have an answer right away, that’s fine. But only if you tell them. They’ll appreciate your honesty and believe you when you say that you’ll get back to them when you know.
Offer to Help Others
Helping your fellow colleagues can make you more successful.
When you help other people at work, you’re making them feel valued and they’ll feel you have their best interest at heart.
How can you help? Give them a random gift, introduce them to someone that might be of interest to them, or give them transparent feedback. They may even have a chance to help you in the future.
Maintain a Clean Desk
Just like dressing appropriately, it’s also important to maintain a clean desk to show that you value your job and that you’re an organized person.
Your performance and competence might very well be judged on how messy your desk is.
Tips for keeping a professional desk include keeping only what you need at arm’s length, creating a daily paper system, and sorting your catch-all drawer. Incorporating these steps into your everyday routine will help you stay and appear organized.
Put Down Your Cellphone
Unless you’re a social media manager who needs to be on their phone all the time, there’s no reason why you’re phone should be on your desk and in use while you’re at work.
When others see you constantly on your phone, they may believe you’re not taking your job seriously and they won’t be able to trust or count on you.
Keep your phone on silent and place it in your bag or pocket so you don’t see it and have the urge to use it.
Meet Your Deadlines
Nothing will crush your reputation more than forgetting, or ignoring, your deadlines.
Reputations can be made or lost on deadlines alone — it will determine much about your relationships with your boss and colleagues.
Failing to meet your deadlines will destroy your credibility — which can be hard to rebuild.
Stay on top of deadlines by working ahead and asking for help if you need it.
While complaining might feel therapeutic in the moment, it can damage your reputation if you’re not careful.
In the office, you want to be viewed as someone who doesn’t dwell on the negative and can come up with solutions to fix problems. Otherwise, your co-workers and boss may think you’re unproductive, assume you’ll complain about them, and think you can’t cope with change.
Pick Your Battles
If you have a serious grievance about workplace behavior, take it up with human resources. But otherwise, switch your mindset to prove you can handle responsibility without complaining.
Be Aware of Your Body Language
Even when you don’t believe you’re communicating with others, you are.
How you choose to showcase yourself through body language can suggest to others how they should perceive you.
If you slouch in your chair, bite your nails or avoid eye contact when you talk, all these qualities could make you seem lazy or nervous.
One wouldn’t think to show gratitude at the workplace. Why should you say thank you for doing your job?
However, it will not only boost your reputation, but it can strengthen the team. According to Fast Company, UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons told Fast Company, “In this sense, it, like other social emotions, functions to help regulate relationships, solidifying and strengthening them.”
Why It Works
Everyone wants to feel valued and recognized and when you express that emotion to your fellow colleagues, they’ll see you as a kind and generous co-worker and person.
Go above and beyond with your tasks if you really want to boost your reputation at work.
Your boss will be impressed with your work ethic and will count on you to turn in high-quality work.
You should listen and learn from constructive criticism, anticipate your boss’s needs, and go out of your way to make the impossible, possible. Your boss will appreciate your attitude and will value you as a trusted employee.
Your feelings about your job can show through your work ethic.
It’s hard to give 100 percent to your job if you don’t feel passionate about your role or company. Try to find that love. This might require you changing your perspective and improving your attitude.
Start Something Positive
When you find a way to be passionate and excited about your job, others feed off your energy and show the same enthusiasm, too. After all, a good reputation can be contagious.