How to Address Inappropriate Behaviour in the Workplace

You want your workplace to be a productive and positive environment where all employees feel happy and safe. But for that to be the case, you have no choice but to be able to address eventual displays of inappropriate behaviour.

Failure to identify, address, and correct bad behaviour could result in low employee morale, decreased productivity, and a high employee turnover. It could also damage the reputation of your business.

Don’t let that happen. Learn how to address inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and how to prevent it with these seven tips.

Know how to identify inappropriate behaviour

To address inappropriate behaviour properly, you first need to know how to identify it. Keep in mind that the sooner you can address inappropriate behaviour, the sooner you will be able to act to correct it and prevent negative consequences.

Here are a few examples of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace:

  • Bullying and intimidating an employee, sabotaging their performance, and harassing them. This creates a toxic and hostile work environment, not only for the employee being bullied but for everyone else.
  • Gossiping and spreading rumours and false information.
  • Being unproductive, missing deadlines, and failing to complete tasks.
  • Oversharing information about one’s personal life.
  • Wear inappropriate clothing and do not adhere to the company dress code.

Seek the advice of an HR consultant to improve your company culture

If you notice frequent inappropriate behaviours among your employees, it could be because there is something wrong with your company culture. Perhaps you failed to express your core values and beliefs clearly and did not attract the right candidates when you hired your employees.

Your work culture should set expectations regarding how your employees should behave and interact with each other.

You have to make sure your employees understand your company culture. Or perhaps you have to look for ways to improve it. HR consulting will help you find the solution to your problem.

Create policies and add them to your employee handbook

Now that you know what constitutes inappropriate behaviour, you must ensure all your employees know the type of behaviour you will not tolerate.

Be sure to create policies detailing what is inappropriate and the consequences of engaging in this behaviour. Add these policies to your employee handbook and present them to current employees and new hires.

If you’re unsure how to create clear and effective policies regarding employee behaviour, HR consulting can help you figure it out.

Make sure to educate your employees

To educate your employees about inappropriate behaviour, you first need to educate your managers. Provide them with tools that will help them identify inappropriate behaviour and ensure they know how to handle it if they notice it or someone reports it to them.

Educate your employees on inappropriate behaviours and give them examples to ensure everyone understands.

Also, they should be taught how to report bad behaviour to upper management so that they can address it as soon as possible.

Set examples of proper behaviour

If you want your employees to take your policies seriously, you must avoid engaging in inappropriate behaviour. Be sure you and your managers are always setting examples of proper behaviour.

Avoid gossip, don’t overshare details about your personal life, be productive, and don’t engage in disruptive behaviour.

Be professional and transparent about how you manage your business. Encourage your employees to speak up if something is wrong, and be sure to listen to them.

Be consistent about how you address inappropriate behaviour

Your behaviour needs to be consistent. And you also need to be consistent about how you address inappropriate behaviour. If you punish someone while letting someone else get away with the same behaviour, your employees will get mixed messages.

Whenever you notice something inappropriate, or someone reports an incident to you, you must act immediately by adhering to the guidelines featured in your policies.

Every employee who engages in inappropriate behaviour must get the same treatment.

Learn how to prevent inappropriate behaviour

Now that you know how to address inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, you also need to learn how to prevent it.

Hiring people who share your core values and ensuring they understand your expectations from the start can help prevent inappropriate behaviour.

Being honest and transparent at all times, communicating efficiently, and letting your employees know that they can count on you whenever they need support are also good ways to work toward preventing issues before they develop.