Here are the real reasons you're not getting promoted at work

Overdue for a promotion?

You’re probably desperately trying to figure out where you went wrong — what you’ve done, or didn’t do — to drive your boss to promote Jane to senior manager instead of you.

To help narrow down the options, CareerBuilder conducted a survey that investigated which qualities dissuade employers from promoting an otherwise-hard-working employee.

After receiving feedback from more than 2,000 human resource managers covering a wide range of industries in the US, it became clear that behavioural issues were major risks to an employee’s chances at a promotion. Even the most diligent worker could miss out on a better position due to a perpetual negative attitude, for example.

The following behavioural factors dissuaded human resource managers from promoting an employee, according to the survey:

  • 62% were less likely to promote an employee with a negative or pessimistic attitude.
  • 62% were less likely to promote an employee who regularly showed up to work late.
  • 51% were less likely to promote an employee who frequently used vulgar language.
  • 49% were less likely to promote an employee who regularly left work early.
  • 49% were less likely to promote an employee who took too many sick days.
  • 44% were less likely to promote an employee who gossiped.
  • 39% were less likely to promote an employee who spent office time on personal social media accounts.
  • 36% were less likely to promote an employee who didn’t clean up after himself/herself.
  • 27% were less likely to promote an employee who always initiated non-work-related conversations with coworkers.
  • 24% were less likely to promote an employee who took personal phone calls at work.
  • 19% were less likely to promote an employee who took frequent smoke breaks.
GettyImages 457250676Carl Court/Getty Images19% of hiring managers were less likely to promote an employee who took frequent smoke breaks.

The following superficial factors dissuaded human resource managers from promoting an employee:

  • 44% were less likely to promote an employee who wore provocative clothing to work.
  • 43% were less likely to promote an employee who wore wrinkled clothes.
  • 32% were less likely to promote an employee with piercings other than traditional ear piercings.
  • 27% were less likely to promote an employee who frequently wore clothing that was too casual for the workplace.
  • 27% were less likely to promote an employee with visible tattoos.
  • 25% were less likely to promote an employee with an unprofessional hairstyle.
  • 24% were less likely to promote an employee with constant bad breath.
  • 21% were less likely to promote an employee who wore too much perfume or cologne.
  • 15% were less likely to promote an employee who wore too much makeup.

So besides work ethic, there are many characteristics to be wary of when vying for a promotion. Be conscious of your behaviour while at the office; even if these characteristics seem unrelated to the actual work you do, your actions and attitude greatly influence those around you.

If you prove to cause more distractions for colleagues than you do enforce productivity, a promotion might be out-of-reach for the time being. For many, your presence at the office can matter almost as much as the work you turn out.

NOW WATCH: The 7 Worst Mistakes You Can Make Trying To Get A Promotion

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.