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How to Deal with Behavioral Issues

This is the last article of a three-part series. First, I discussed the factors that shape how we label problem employees, followed by “People Problem or Process Problem?”, today we are discussing, “How to deal with behavioral issues.”

Once you have discovered that the root cause of the issue is a behavioral issue, what steps can you take to address and hopefully correct it? It has been my experience that employees do not intentionally go around acting out or trying to cause pain for the organization and their co-workers. What I have discovered is, there is generally something happening that the rest of us are not privy to.

Allow me to clarify. I was working with a manager who was having attendance issues with a long-time employee, we will call him Bob. Bob had always been very conscientious, detail oriented and timely in everything he had done. Over a roughly 6-month period all of these qualities and behaviors that Bob was respected and appreciated for started to slip. He started coming in later and later, his work had become sloppy, and he did not seem to care about anything anymore. We took the logical first step with Bob and had a conversation. What we discovered was some circumstances had changed in Bob’s life and he was trying to handle it all on his own. We were able to address and assist Bob through this time and his positive behaviors returned. My point in telling you this is to bring to light that behaviors can change for a multitude of reasons.

However, you may have a person who is upset with the organization or the direction the company is going resulting in them having a poor attitude and negative behaviors. My suggestion is still the same. Have a conversation and bring this to the employee’s attention. They may not realize how much of an impact their negative behaviors are having. Allow them the chance to correct the behavior, or chose to leave the organization if the time has come where it is no longer a good fit. Not addressing these issues harms the organizations culture; negativity is contagious.

Behaviors both positive and negative are human, take the time to listen and provide support to correct these behaviors when you can. #wecreatewhatwetolerate.

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