surveyed more than 2,500 HR managers, as well as more than 3,000 employees, to find out what grown working people do when they don't get their way. Let's just say a national time-out might be necessary, because slightly more than 3 in 4 employees (77%) have recently "witnessed some type of childish behavior among colleagues in the workplace."
Surprised? Without further delay, here are the Top 10 childish behaviors witnessed by survey participants:
Whining (55% of those surveyed have seen it at work); pouting over something that didn't go our way (46%); tattling on another co-worker (44%); playing pranks on another co-worker (36%); making a face behind someone's back (35%); forming a clique (32%); starting a rumor about a co-worker (30%); storming out of the room (29%); throwing a tantrum (27%); and refusing to share resources with others (23%).A few behaviors that didn't make the Top 10, but deserve honorable mention in my opinion: Failing to clean up after ourselves at work; actively sabotaging our co-workers so they don't "win"; and speaking in vocal fry.
We know from past surveys that the average manager spends one full workday each week handling disputes between employees, and the Millennials are tops at workplace tattling. What we may not realize is how immature behavior can start to affect our personal workplace brand: The CareerBuilder survey finds many employers will think twice about promoting employees who are negative, sloppy, too gossipy, and vulgar in word choice. (Whether they go ahead and eventually promote these employees anyway is another story, I guess.)
How should we best react to a co-worker who is throwing a tantrum, pouting, or otherwise acting childish on the job? Hmm. It's probably best to ignore it as much as possible until our co-worker can calm down and engage on a more mature level. Otherwise, we're telling this co-worker that whining and pouting works -- at work.
Incentives for good behavior from management, such as snacks and fun activities, might also help. Encourage adequate rest. We all need to learn to share, since we're sharing the same sandbox. But this isn't a parenting blog, even though it's quickly starting to sound like one.
tl;dr: If you've ever witnessed childish behavior at work, then you're not alone. Most employees have seen it. Where's the reality TV show Workplace Supernanny when we need it? Hey, I'd watch it.