Building a team with high morale and high productivity can be challenging. In order to create an environment where people can do their best work, behaviour towards each other and those outside must be respectful. In this article we look at five key behaviours which you cannot tolerate if you wish to achieve great things.
There are many reasons why some people believe intimidation and bullying can get the results they want. There is often an underlying form of insecurity in people who do this. Whilst they may need as much help as the person being bullied, they have to recognise that such behaviour is unacceptable. In some instances it may be intimidation towards people in other parts of the business. Some people think they can take advantage of others with an easy going nature who are unlikely to push back. It is your job as manager to ensure this does not happen.
When we discuss discrimination, most people think of racial or sexual discrimination. In fact it goes way beyond these two areas and includes any situation where people are not treated equally because of something that makes them different from others. This can include physical appearance, personality, place of origin even if in the same country, hobbies and way of working. Apart from being illegal it affects self-esteem, morale and productivity.
Nobody wants to be harassed in any way and certainly not from a sexual perspective. Sometimes harassment may include where people become obsessed with someone else for whatever reason. It may be quite innocent but if someone pays too much attention to a colleague it can be quite uncomfortable for the person on the receiving end.
The majority of people are brought up correctly by their parents or guardians to respect others. Unfortunately some believe that they can be rude to others including customers! There is always going to be a consequence of such behaviour and your job as manager is to intervene before it gets out of hand. There is often an underlying reason and you may need to explore this especially if it is out of character. Even if it is part of the person’s personality this does not mean it is acceptable.
Whilst this is a very British thing where lateness is seen as being dis-respectful, it is also pushing the boundaries with you as the manager. There is always going to be a time when transport conditions let us down or other unforeseen circumstances. When lateness becomes regular for some people then it is time to investigate. You may need to be creative to find a solution if childcare or other issues are causing problems. If you are able to help in this respect then it is likely that you will end up with a grateful and motivated employee.
When discovering that any of these behaviours are occurring within your team, make sure that you have solid facts and reliable witnesses. If you start making accusations to the individual without these you will find yourself in trouble. If you are unable to obtain this, consider holding a team meeting and warning people what is unacceptable and point out the consequences if it is repeated. You will need to spell out what is considered inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour so people are left in no doubt what it means.
It will be just as important for you to enforce this at the first instance you or supervisors observe inappropriate behaviour. You will also need to check your own behaviours to see whether they could be mis-construed. Your team will need to see that you are prepared to take action and that they know the consequences should they step over the line. You may also need to coach any victims in techniques in how to respond correctly should it happen again.
Before I sign off, here are some more articles for you on dealing with difficult employees:
Head of Training
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.