The workplace can be a challenging environment for managers, especially when it comes to managing unruly employees. Unruly behavior can range from insubordination and disrespect to ignoring company policies or processes – like refusing to use interactive dashboards for data analysis, all of which disrupt the workplace. As a manager, it’s important to know how to address such issues in a way that encourages positive behavior to maintain a productive and positive environment.
So here are five tips to help you manage unruly employees.
Have Clear Expectations
The first step in managing any employee is making sure that they understand what is expected of them. Clearly communicate your expectations for behavior, performance, attendance, dress code, etc., and make sure the consequences for not meeting these expectations are clear and understood.
This way employees understand the boundaries they must adhere to, helping to prevent issues before they arise.
To make expectations clear, have formal policies in place and make them readily available to employees. Also, hold regular team meetings to discuss the company’s expectations, as well as individual employee performance.
As it’s important to be clear with your expectations, it is equally as important to follow through with consequences when those expectations are not met. You want to be consistent with the consequences you enforce, otherwise, you’ll not be taken seriously.
Establish a disciplinary process that employees are aware of. Then follow through with the appropriate corrective action for infractions according to the process.
It can be difficult to remain calm in the face of unruly behavior, but it is important to stay as level-headed as possible when addressing such issues even if the employee is not.
Try listening to the employee and to understand their point of view. Focus on the behavior that needs to be corrected, not the person. Consider taking a few deep breaths before addressing issues to avoid raising your voice or making threats.
Seek Help When Necessary
If you feel like a situation is getting out of control or escalating, get help from a higher authority. Speak to your own supervisor or human resources about the issue and ask for their assistance in resolving it.
You want to document any incidents that occur before you approach your supervisor or HR. Also, you’ll have to involve the employee in the discussion in the name of fairness.
Try to remember that not all unruly behavior is intentional or malicious. In some cases, an employee may be struggling due to personal issues or a lack of resources. Showing support and offering assistance can help an employee get back on track and prevent future incidents.
How to offer support:
• Listen to the employee and try to understand their situation.
• Offer resources such as counseling or extra training if necessary.
• Schedule regular check-ins with the employee to monitor their progress.
• Recognize and reward positive behavior as it occurs.
Managing unruly employees can be challenging, but with the right strategies in place, it is possible to maintain a positive and productive work environment for everyone involved. By setting clear expectations, implementing consequences, remaining calm, providing support, and seeking help when necessary, managers can effectively address any issues that may arise.