Deborah Peppard - HR Director
At HR Staff n’ Stuff, we are lucky enough to work with business owners who are focused on nurturing employee engagement and positive organisational culture. This is important as we all spend much of our lives in the workplace, so fostering positive and supportive workplace environments should be a priority for all businesses if they want their teams to be motivated, effective and delivering the best output possible while driving retention of experienced and talented team members.
Thinking about it, things usually run smoothly in your workplace, and for most part, your team and workmates are supportive, productive and show respect and kindness towards one another. But over time, there has been the occasional team member who has shown an underlying and increasing disregard for others. We’ve all witnessed it – the team member that everyone tiptoes around as none of us want confrontation in the workplace and you don't want to poke the bear. Often the perpetrator becomes increasingly volatile and difficult to work with or to manage. So it's best to just ignore the disruptive behaviour isn't it?
The simple answer is NO! Disruptive behaviour includes verbal confrontations, sarcasm, emotional outbursts, sending nasty emails, strategically holding back information or taking credit for others’ work. Rather than tolerate the peaks and troughs of rudeness and subtle signs of a disengaged employee — there are always ways to deal with this issue. Here’s some tips on how:
1. Identify the root cause of their behaviour
2. Take notes
Once you’ve considered the reasons (if any) behind the behaviour, it’s now time to take control of the situation. It can be confronting and uncomfortable for managers but it is absolutely necessary to deal with rude behaviour before it spreads throughout your team.
Assess whether their behaviour has violated your company’s policy or core values. Is it serious enough to move to a formal meeting immediately? If you don’t have a policy or documented core values that outline clearly acceptable behaviours, take the following common sense approach and take time to document the instances of the rude and disrespectful behaviour. Detail the date, time and situation. This concrete evidence will help you when it’s time to meet with the employee.
3. Provide feedback
Your employee can’t fix something if he or she is unaware of their behaviour and how it is affecting others. Your first action is to make sure the employee knows how they’re coming across and what you consider acceptable, and the fact they need to make some changes. This might be as simple as a quick ‘shoulder tap’ or it might require an informal meeting. If an informal meeting is needed, ensure that you are objective and have a plan of how you will conduct the meeting including:
“Thanks for meeting with me John, I called today’s informal meeting because I want to have a chat to you about some recent behaviour that isn’t aligned with our company values. I have a number of instances that have shown some disruptive behaviour and today I want to provide the opportunity to find out what is going on and how we can work with you to get you back on track…”
4. Resolved or ongoing saga?
In most situations, once an employee has been spoken to about their behaviour and acceptable standards, then you may see a slow change or an overnight shift – both of these are great!
If the behaviour continues you should consider a more formal approach possibly resulting in disciplinary action, including formal written warning or even termination depending on the circumstances. You should seek professional advice if you decide you need to take any formal steps, to make sure that you follow the required processes.
You don’t need to tolerate rude behaviour from employees. Don’t put your head in the sand and ignore it anymore! As a business owner or manager, you CAN take control and you CAN stamp out behaviour that isn’t doing your business, your team and culture any favours.
HR Staff n’ Stuff can help put a stop to bad behaviour in your workplace and help build the framework for a positive and productive team – be it through a culture and values workshop, performance management, team building exercises or leadership training. As HR Consultants, we are to support your business needs – call or email to discuss your needs.
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!