Behaviour in the Workplace for Successful Employees

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employee behaviour in the workplace is a vital factor that determines your entire work experience at a company. A positive behaviour at work from employees leads to higher productivity and performance by the team and the individual. People who behave more professionally and efficiently at work often eventually become irreplaceable employees. In this article, we learn what workplace behaviour is, why it's so important, what affects employee behaviour, and eight behaviours to help you become a successful employee at work.

What is behaviour in the workplace?

Behaviour in the workplace is how a person behaves at their work and with their colleagues. It's more formal and is at different levels depending on the profession. For example, a marketing campaign manager may have more leeway than a lawyer at their workplace, as lawyers have stronger restrictions when it comes to their attire and interactions with their clients. People tend to be more careful at work and among colleagues than they are outside and with friends, as certain actions may be perceived as inappropriate.

Behaviour in the workplace encompasses how a person communicates at the workplace with their colleagues. Both verbal and non-verbal communication portrays how you feel about your work and team. As a good attitude can lead to positivity in the workplace, a productive team, and better performance, organizations need to focus more on employee behaviour.

Related: Professionalism in the Workplace

Importance of good behaviour in the workplace

Good work behaviour from employees promotes collaboration among colleagues and elevates company status. Here are a few things that are affected by employee behaviour in the workplace:


When employees are joyful about coming to work and collaborating with teammates, the morale in the workplace is high. But unresolved tension and conflict among teammates can make the environment feel unwelcoming, which only depletes morale. Low morale increases absenteeism and increases company turnover, which can be very expensive for an organization.


When employees behave appropriately and positively at work, productivity may increase. Behaviour, such as helping a teammate complete their task on time or striving to find agreement between teammates with varying opinions, helps projects get done on time, resulting in happy clients. A team that works well together can exceed expectations in achieving all goals.

Employee retention

When it comes to company recruitment and employee retention, the workplace atmosphere serves an important role. If potential candidates find the organization has inappropriate workplace behaviour, they may look at different organizations and hiring top-level candidates becomes challenging. Good workplace behaviour keeps the employees happy and increases productivity, which makes the organization a more attractive option for potential candidates.

Company reputation

In the age of the internet, people have become very aware of a company's reputation in the market. If a company has a reputation for unprofessional employee behaviour, it may hurt the company's public image. Similarly, if the company has employees who are professional and efficient at what they do, this reputation could potentially bring in more customers and help retain employees. Employees who are good to each other often behave the same way with customers as well.

Factors that could affect workplace behaviour

Here are a few factors that can affect workplace behaviour in a company:


Managers and supervisors play a huge role in employee workplace behaviour in their teams. Most times when employees aren't happy going to work is when they have challenging employers. As a leader, you need to provide direction to your team and always support them. Guide them through their tasks and help them gain knowledge and upgrade their skills. Having a leader who is inspiring motivates your employees to do their best as well.

Job duties and responsibilities

Ensure that your employees are performing duties that are best suited for their skill set. Try not to overburden them, but encourage them to learn more skills and upgrade themselves in the workplace. Encouraging them to learn new skills shows employees that you care about their professional growth and might make them want to stay longer with the company.


Managers and employees need to have good communication established. If the team is left out of company decisions, they may slowly lose interest in their work. Involve your team in discussions and encourage them to express their ideas and views on issues. If they have any problems or grievances, as a supervisor, you need to address them immediately to maintain a good work environment.

Work culture

The biggest factor that affects workplace behaviour is the culture of work. Employees need to feel happy and comfortable at their workplace to stay productive. Rules and regulations about workplace behaviour have to be consistent among employees and management. Such transparency encourages employees to respect their managers. Job security is another crucial aspect that affects employee behaviour at the workplace. Support your team during a crisis and they may be motivated to support you too.

Personal life

People who have strained relationships in their personal life tend to appear disconnected at work. If home life is not the best, employees tend to stay at work late and this can affect the workplace negatively. As conflicts in personal life lead to added stress, practise trying to separate your personal problems from your work. This may seem challenging, but a conscious effort and regular practise make it possible to do so.

Workplace relationships

Building workplace relationships is an essential part of having a positive attitude at work. Consider coordinating team-building activities for your colleagues to help them connect. Team lunches, Friday trivia, ice breaker questions, and holiday parties are just a few ideas you can implement.

8 workplace behaviours of successful employees

Here are eight behaviours that separate the irreplaceable employee who is bound for success from everyone else:

1. Overachiever

Successful employees go beyond when their managers ask of them and try to find ways to solve an issue or improve upon a project. They believe that there is always room for improvement and are on the lookout for ways to improve something by adding or subtracting from products or processes.

2. Outstanding communicator

They know how to communicate their point well and directly. They value other people's time and practice effective communication. For example, if a customer complaint needs to be addressed, they respond in a way that calms the customer and answers any follow-up questions the customer may have.

3. Trustworthy and reliable

Successful employees aren't afraid to take on big responsibilities because they're confident in their ability to complete any task. They're reliable that when they are given a task, you can trust that it's completed on time and most efficiently. Irreplaceable employees don't quit and have the patience to see things through, even when there are obstacles.

4. Problem solver

When a problem arises at work, successful employees don't just bring the problem to management. They also deducted one or more solutions that can help solve the problem. Or even better, they proactively solved the problem with the solution they thought was best and informed their manager.

5. Humble

While many professionals enjoy taking credit for their work, but only a few accept it when they make a mistake. Employees who take accountability for their actions and mistakes need to be recognized for their readiness to learn from their mistakes and change. Such employees offer the workplace a refreshing change.

6. Adaptable

Employees who are adaptable are fast learners and have deep knowledge about the company and its products and services. When something new comes into the organization, they're able to adapt to it easily and apply the new knowledge into their existing workflow efficiently. Considering how fast companies undergo changes, they may not be able to meet market expectations without adaptive employees.

Related: 9 Skills That Support Adaptability in the Workplace

7. Team player

A workplace is a bit competitive where everyone sees everyone else as a threat. In such an environment, having employees who not only communicate well with each other but motivate others is essential. Employees with this quality need to be recognized publicly and with tangible rewards. This can encourage other employees to come together as a team, which can only help the company succeed.

Related: 15 Professional Characteristics for the Workplace

8. Dependable

Dependable employees don't need to be micromanaged and require very little supervision. They keep the company functioning smoothly, as no work is delayed by them. Employers are always on the lookout for such employees who can be put in charge of confidential information and duties of the company. Recognizing dependable employees in a team environment can motivate others to be more dependable and trustworthy.

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