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Management Interventions for Misbehavior

Instructor: LeRon Haire
The lesson will address how companies respond to misbehavior that occurs in the workplace, and will discuss how managers can prevent and maintain misbehavior.

photo of workplace misbehavior

Misbehavior in the Workplace

When thinking of ways that a workplace can become successful, things such as office structure, departmental training, and office cohesiveness come to mind. One thing that can be overlooked is office culture, which deals with employee behaviors and misbehaviors.

Misbehavior can generally be defined as behaving in a way that is inappropriate or wrong. What happens when misbehavior occurs in the workplace? How can management work to prevent, maintain, and react to behavior in the workplace that is harmful? Let's discuss these issues in an effort to answer those questions.

photo of woman placing note on co-worker

Preventing Misbehavior in the Workplace

There are various types of misbehaviors in the office, and some of those are more deviant than others. For example, misbehavior in the workplace could be an employee throwing paper at colleagues who pass by. It could also be an employee who is accused of sexual harassment. While these are certainly two very different situations, they are both considered to be misbehavior.

It's imperative that management knows how to control these misbehaviors once they occur, but many issues can be prevented. Here are two ways management can prevent misbehavior in the workplace.

  • Employee Screenings

Depending on the type of job, an employee screening may be requested before an employee is hired. An employee screening is a pre-employment process in which a company investigates several aspects of an applicant's background, including but not limited to previous job history, worker compensation claims, and history of crime. Although not guaranteed, employee screenings can be good indicators of expected behaviors.

For example, if you see that an applicant has a history of stealing items from their previous places of employment, then a reasonable assumption can be made that this may happen again if they are hired. When used properly, employment screenings can identify traits or patterns that may point to possible workplace misbehavior.

  • Informative Training

Many companies have an orientation period when new employees are trained on and informed of things like specific job duties, insurance benefits, and acceptable office behaviors. During this time, organizations should incorporate the help of their Human Resources department to explain misbehavior in the workplace.

This informative training should explain what is and isn't acceptable in terms of workplace behavior. By discussing these issues before the employees begin their duties, organizations have a chance to avoid these issues in the future.

Maintaining or Controlling Misbehavior in the Workplace

Have you ever witnessed an employee on the job who behaved inappropriately? Did management successfully resolve the issue? When attempting to control workplace misbehavior, it is important that companies lower the possibility for misbehavior to occur. This means reducing any triggers for workplace misbehavior. Triggers would be things that are prone to aid an employee in misbehaving.

Controversial material, such as explicit lyrics to a song or inappropriate political or religious conversations, may be considered possible triggers. These triggers can be reduced by eliminating the option for employees to use explicit language (whether verbal or written) and to vastly reduce conversations related to religion and politics as much as possible.

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