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There are certain behaviours that should not be tolerated in the workplace regardless of who the offender is or who they might know. You may think that everyone should know not to engage in these offensive and sometimes criminal acts. However, when an employee violates a basic rule, it is very important to send out a reminder to all the other employees on what exactly is acceptable conduct. Here are five basic rules to keep in mind.{{more}}

1. Dating someone in the same office is not professional. It can jeopardize your job if the relationship does not work out. It can also cause tension among co-workers when the relationship seems to be going well. Workplace dating often evokes feelings of jealousy, lack of trust and accusations of favoritism, all of which are detrimental to workplace morale and the team spirit.

2. Drug usage on the job, or coming to work under the influence of any substance is absolutely unacceptable. There are no exceptions especially during festival seasons (nine mornings, carnival or other

celebrations.)

3. Stealing money or company property. This includes abuse of company credit cards or petty cash funds as well as the small things like pens, notepads, tape etc. Do not take this for granted, as it can be costly to your employer to replenish office supplies when abuse is prevalent.

4. Cheating on your time card. Whether it’s adding 10 minutes or half-hour, it is still cheating and can be cause for dismissal. Keep accurate records of your time worked.

5. Weapons are not allowed on company property. In light of all the recent international tragedies and an increase in workplace violence across the board, everyone is in a heightened state of alert. If the instrument is not a requirement for the job, leave it at home.

6. Cooking the books. Before you submit those financial reports are they accurate? Were you asked to be creative with the numbers? Be careful as your decision to play along could eventually cost you your job or even your career. Keep it honest.

• Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to Karen@KarenSpeaks.com

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