What Are Employee Behavior Issues?
Employee behavior issues occur when an employee's conduct interferes with their job responsibilities and those of their colleagues. There are many types of common employee behavioral problems, which include:
- Inappropriate behaviors (e.g., insubordination, refusing to follow instructions, hostility, etc.)
- Inappropriate interpersonal relations (e.g., over-aggressive communication style, insensitive humor, conflicts with others, etc.)
- Ignoring important HR policies (e.g., sexual harassment, disrespect to other employees, etc.)
- Physical behavior problems (e.g., sleeping on the job, alcohol or drug use on the job, etc.)
Behavioral problems can also overlap with performance issues too. These may concern quantity of work problems (e.g., lost time, missed deadlines, poor prioritization, etc.) and quality of work issues (e.g., inaccuracies, customer dissatisfaction, wasting materials, etc.).
Why Document Behavior Problems
Proper documentation of your employee's performance and behavior is essential for your business for a handful of reasons (The Balance Careers). It provides your company with:
- A pattern of an employee's ability or failure to improve performance over time.
- Evidence that performance/behavioral issues were discussed with the employee in a timely manner.
- Guidance on whether management should discipline or terminate an employee.
- Evidence to justify salary increases/decreases and promotions.
- Legal protection for your business in the event of a lawsuit.
No matter how you look at it, documenting your employees' workplace behaviors and habits is essential to the success of your business.
How To Document Employee Behavior Problems
Whether you're documenting behavior issues or performance problems, the documentation must be written during or immediately following your meeting with the employee. This will ensure that all the details of your conversations are recorded accurately for full transparency.
It's also important that your documents appear neat, professional, and well-organized. You never know when the documents will be read (or by who), so professional and organized documentation will reflect well on your company in the future.
Every time you document employee performance or behavioral issues, be sure to stick to these 5 steps.
- Stick To The Facts - Don't rely on opinions during your meeting. Make sure you gather reliable facts on the employee's issues. And be sure to avoid using subjective words in your written report.
- Highlight Their Behavior - While you can discuss their actions, it's also important to offer advice on how to improve an employee's behavior at work.
- Provide Proof Of Misconduct - Gather written complaints and information from the employee's direct manager. Physical pieces of evidence will give an employee a full understanding of how their behaviors were inappropriate and how they can improve.
- Outline Consequences - Your company should have guidelines for disciplinary actions for various behaviors. Make sure the disciplinary consequences are communicated clearly to the employee and that a deadline is set for them to improve their behavior.
- Get Their Signature - After you've discussed their performance or behavioral issues, make sure you acquire the employee's signature. This ensures they have read and understood the content of the documentation, which will align expectations moving forward.
How To Correct Employee Behavior
Hopefully following your 1-on-1 meeting, the employee will improve their behavior on their own. However, this does not always happen. The responsibility may fall to you to proactively correct your employees' behaviors in a handful of ways (ERC).
One way to correct behavioral issues is to model the behaviors that you want to see in your staff. Employees will generally follow the example that's set by management, so do your best to lead by example.
When you see employees behaving how you want, reinforce that behavior with a reward. This could be as simple as a compliment or even a gift card to a local restaurant.
Make sure you're also responding to your employees' behaviors consistently. If you only ever discipline employees and never reward them, they may not feel motivated to achieve the standards you want.
Improve Your Employees Behaviors And Performance With CourtSide®
If you want to correct employee behavioral problems before they happen, our HR specialists at CourtSide® can help with that.
With our HR Systems Buildout services, we can develop custom HR processes and best practices for your organization. We'll also create custom performance and behavior documents to help you track and improve employee issues.
Contact CourtSide® Consulting today to learn how to document employee behavior issues correctly and improve them consistently.