When you look back on the past year, ask yourself if your actions and transgressions have earned you a spot on the office Nice List or the Naughty List. Hopefully you have been an outstanding team member and employee, but if you believe that your behavior has landed you on the Naughty List, it’s time to start improving your reputation.


As the year comes to a close, here are eight ways that you can quickly change the way your coworkers view you (and avoid any lumps of coal on your desk).



  1. Punctuality: If you are in the habit of running a few minutes late, chances are that you are on the office Naughty List. Whether it’s just another day at work, a meeting, or lunch with a coworker, punctuality speaks volumes. Being on time and prepared shows others that you respect them and value their time as much as your own. Simply put, when you tell a team member that you are going to be somewhere, be there. In fact, be there a few minutes early.


  1. Communication: If you want to improve your reputation, take a look at how you communicate at work. Communication with team members should be done in a confident, professional and respectful manner. Your tone, body language and word choice should always reflect openness and willingness to participate in discussion. Leave defensiveness at the door and come into work every morning ready to actively listen and engage with your coworkers.


  1. Productivity: The Nice List isn’t typically comprised of team members with low productivity as it is often associated with inefficient and ineffective workplace habits. Don’t let your coworkers see you taking unnecessary breaks, taking personal calls and emails, and spending time on social media while on the clock. All of these habits are common productivity crimes and those committing them will not be looked at favorably, especially by team members who are striving to increase the team’s efficiency.


  1. Concentration: Don’t allow yourself to become distracted, or become a distraction to those around you. Help yourself and everyone in the office concentrate and limit the amount of noise that you create throughout the work day by putting your phone on silent, being conscious of how loud you are talking while on the phone, and limiting any music to your headphones.


  1. Focus: Meetings and even casual office conversations are notorious for getting off topic, causing valuable time to be wasted by a lack of focus. If you are known for your side conversations and tangents, start being mindful of the task at hand and show your coworkers that you respect their time constraints.


  1. Necessity: Have you ever found yourself in a meeting that could have been substituted with a quick email? If you have, then you know how frustrating it can feel when you are asked to attend a meeting that is not necessary. Don’t be a Grinch and schedule meetings without thinking about how it interferes with everyone else’s day. Before requesting a meeting, take a look at the following flow chart to determine whether a meeting is a necessity.


  1. Credit: When it comes to taking credit for a job well done, don’t shy away from accepting graciously. However, to earn your place on the Nice List it is necessary to give credit when credit is due. Even if you were the lead on a project, it’s unlikely that you were the only one whose hard work led to its success. Team morale and your reputation will improve once team members are appropriately thanked for their contributions.


  1. Commitment: No one likes a coworker who lacks follow through; as a result, demonstrating commitment to your work and your team is one way to improve your reputation. Show up to work determined to reach your goals and help others reach theirs as well. See your projects and tasks through from start to finish and help others when you are able.



If you are worried that your past actions have earned you a place on the Naughty List, there’s no time like the present to start making changes. The best way to judge if your actions are having a positive or a negative impact on your reputation is to ask yourself if you were courteous to others, if you thought about the feelings of others and listened to their opinions.