How to Stay out of Trouble at the Workplace

It can take just one slip to jeopardize your employment status. And, if you're a new employee, the company probably isn't convinced that you're indispensable. Staying out of trouble at work is simple when you consider that all it takes is following the rules, doing your job and demonstrating respect for your co-workers, your supervisor and the organization's values.

Make a Good First Impression

You can get off to a good start in a new job by actively participating in new employee orientation. Ask pertinent questions and engaging with other newly hired employees in your orientation class. Take notes during orientation.

Express appreciation for your new job and employer. Forbes reports that employees with a positive attitude and optimistic outlook are uplifting to others. If your orientation class lasts more than one day, study the materials at night to prepare for the next day of orientation. Show that you're likely to be a valuable asset to the organization, not someone who might cause trouble in the workplace.

Follow the Rules

Conscientious employees follow company policies and observe the company's code of conduct. Indeed Career Guide suggests states that all new employees should familiarize themselves with the employee handbook that typically contains many workplace policies and rules. However, if you have questions, ask your supervisor, the human resources staff or a seasoned employee for clarification. Adhere to company policies on workplace diversity. Refrain from actions or behavior that violate company policies and cause trouble in the workplace.

Learn the Ropes

Patience in the early stages of your employment is important, particularly while you are learning new processes and procedures. Ask your supervisor for clarification if you're confused about your job tasks. Review your job description regularly to ensure you performing the appropriate tasks, but don't rely on your job description as an all-inclusive list of your responsibilities because many have a disclaimer that indicates you are also to perform other duties as assigned. Don't refuse tasks simply because they're not listed on your job description.

Develop Positive Relationships

You may find it helpful to do more observing than talking until you learn who's who in your department and the company. Be aware of employees who are labeled trouble makers, employees with negative attitudes and low-performing or disengaged workers. Avoid joining workplace cliques – who you associate with can affect your reputation.

An effective way to avoid being categorized as a follower or part of a less-than-desirable group of employees is to stand on your own and work independently. After you are accustomed to your job, you will soon become acquainted with employees with whom you can have meaningful friendships.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Arrive at work on time, or early, so you can begin the work day at your appointed start time. Refrain from taking long breaks and lunch hours; use your allotted time but try not to go over it. Your co-workers and supervisors are counting on your reliability and productivity. If you are prone to taking excessive breaks and longer-than-usual lunch hours, you can diminish your colleagues confidence in you.

Refrain from using your employer's resources for personal business. That includes Internet access, supplies and time. If you must handle personal business, take accrued vacation or paid time off to resolve any issues you have. Otherwise, save your personal emailing, blogging and personal shopping to do on your own time, on your own computer.