Managers Report Inappropriate Worker Behavior

Managers report frustration over lack of manners, ethics and professionalism among employees.

Kessler International conducted a survey by polling upper and mid-level management at 40 professional services firms, and found that the respondents indicated by an 84% margin that their staff was inconsiderate and rude in the workplace. In addition, the same respondents cited by 65% that they felt a majority of their staff lacked a moral compass.

Bad manners or unethical behavior cited by managers included:

  • untimely and inappropriate use of cellphones;
  • wearing inappropriate clothing to work;
  • complete lack of courtesy;
  • use of street talk and signs in professional meetings;
  • the inability of younger staff to write a letter/email;
  • the lack of personal responsibility;
  • failure to say please and thank you;
  • lying to phone caller;
  • hanging up on phone calls when they are confronted and were uncomfortable;
  • cheating on time billed to clients and stealing time by arriving late and leaving early;
  • cutting corners on work product rather than staying after hours to correct the mistakes they made;
  • visiting sex and dating websites on company time;
  • sexting on company phones;
  • the inability to interact professionally with clients during a business function;
  • the lack of manners; and
  • the lack of integrity.


Some respondents expressed disgust not only of certain individuals’ behavior, but also their own inability to say something and correct the situation. They cited their company’s “political correctness,” their own inability to have confrontations and constraints instituted by their human resources department as stumbling blocks.