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July 30, 2012

What the Heck? Swearing Can Harm My Career?

Filed under: Employment Law,General HR Buzz3:56 pm

About this time of summer, we are getting weary of the heat.  This year proves to be no exception as we have experienced stretches of days with heat index warnings.  Excessive and continued heat also seems to affect our behavior in the workplace.  People may seem grumpier and it may seem easier to let a four-letter word slip out when the heat is on.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 6,000 employers and employees, it’s important to watch your language.   The survey, conducted in May-June of this year, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and 3,800 workers across industries and company sizes.  The survey produced some interesting results.  More than half (51%) of workers reported that they swear in the office.  They are selective, however, as to who they swear in front of, as indicated below.

  • 95% swear in front of coworkers
  • 51% swear in front of their boss
  • 13% swear in front of senior leaders
  • 7% swear in front of clients (really?)

Perhaps the most important element of the survey was how swearing is looked at from a manager’s perspective.   Apparently swearing creates a roadblock for promotions and brings the employee’s professionalism into question.  Specific feedback includes the following:

  • 81% believe the use of curse words brings the employee’s professionalism into question
  • 71% says swearing creates a concern for lack of control
  • 68% indicate swearing represents a lack of maturity
  • 54% stated it makes an employee appear less intelligent

To read more about this survey, you may click here.


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