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What qualities in employees irritate bosses the most? Burke Marketing Research asked executives in 100 of the nation’s 1000 largest companies. At the top of the list was dishonesty. Marc Silbert, whose temporary employee firm commissioned the study, says, “If a company believes that an employee lacks integrity, all positive qualities—ranging from skill and experience to productivity and intelligence—become meaningless.”

Six other factors were discovered, making a total of “seven deadly sins” that can cause you to lose your job. They are listed below in decreasing order of irritation value.

1. Irresponsibility, goofing-off and doing personal business on company time.

2. Arrogance, ego problems and excessive aggressiveness. Bosses dislike those who spend more time talking about their achievements than in getting the job done.

3. Absenteeism and lateness.

4. Not following company policy. Failure to follow the rules makes management feel an employee can’t be trusted.

5. Whining and complaining.

6. Laziness and lack of commitment and dedication. If you don’t care about the firm, they won’t care about you.

The Pryor Report, Vol. 6, Number 1A, 1989

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