How to deal with unacceptable employee behavior

When you are working in a corporate environment, there are various types of personalities that you come across and everyone may not be easy to deal with. There are many behaviors that can be termed as unacceptable and detrimental to a work environment. Knowing how to deal with them will help you avoid a lot of trivial problems.

Confront the employee and seek co operation

A lot of unacceptable employee behavior arise not because the employees are bad and lack character, but because of clashes in behavior and attitude. It stems from trivial problems that are work related and adjustment issues with colleagues. When such incidents are not a regular affair, it is best to deal with it by confronting the employee and ask him/her to be more co-operative for the well being of everyone involved. For smooth work flow and employee relations, good communication and a willingness to make amends, and move on with the work are important aspects to continue working as a team. In most cases, the problem ends there and there is no need for approaching the management or taking action against the employee. Dealing with unacceptable employee behavior within the circle will prevent the involvement of the management and make way for better understanding among each other.

Warn the employee privately

If the employee continues his/her unacceptable behavior even after repeated attempts to correct him/her, you can go to the next level and warn him/her privately. Talk to the employee about why his/her behavior is not acceptable and the rules and regulations of the company regarding employee behavior. Let the employee know that you will have to take the matter to the higher management if he/she is not willing to mend his/her ways. Give the employee enough time to change his/her habits after the warning. Most employees would not want to attract scrutiny from the management and would back off and be willing to behave well with such a warning. However, all are not same and some can even be egoistic and non co-operative that you have to take the ultimate step and report the matter for the sake of work and adequate functioning of the team. Warning the employee in private would be the last chance you want to give the employee to change without external intervention.

Keep track of the employee’s inappropriate behaviour

Once you have decided to report the problem to the management, you need to record the instances of unacceptable behavior correctly so that any instances can be brought to the notice of the concerned people. Record all the instances correctly along with the time and the date so that the management can confront the person with clear evidence and make him/her answerable for his/her actions. Being vague can create confusion. Therefore, maintaining a written log along with references who can confirm the incident will help you be clear and ensure that the management takes action without doubt. It is also important to show why this behavior is not acceptable to you and how it has started affecting your team spirit and work due to non co-operation from the employee.

Schedule a meeting with the HR department

A meeting with the human resources department must be scheduled after you are sure that you have all the necessary documentation in place and are sure that the employee behavior cannot be changed with confrontation and warning. This should also be done only after careful analysis as to whether the behavior is indeed unacceptable and is coming in between your work commitments. Complaints that do not have much base can backfire and you will be perceived as a problem creator in the office. Assess seriously whether the behavior is indeed unacceptable before approaching the management. It is a good idea to check with others too whether you actually need to complain about the employee’s behavior. This is important as you will need support and references when the management approaches you for inquiry.

Take disciplinary action

Disciplinary action comes from the HR department and you may not be directly involved in the process. Once the situation reaches this stage, there is no way you can back track. Therefore, ensure that you really want this to happen and there is no other way that the problem can be amicably solved. Probably, you might have to get involved as well depending on the policies of the company. It is a good idea to check the company policies and give a warning to the concerned employee before you go ahead with the complaint. Sometimes, the employee can lose his/her job and it can come as a great shock to him/her. Let him/her give final warning before you submit the complaint.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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