The Action You Need To Take When There’s Disruptive Behavior In The Office


Even though every manager and company leader out there has excellent people skills, there are still a few out there who get quite nervous when it comes to hiring new employees to join the team. That’s because they have had bad experience with certain team members in the past, and they already know that sometimes some employees can bring disruptive tendencies and behaviors with them into the workplace. This is often bad news for all the other staff and the company as a whole as productivity can be severely damaged.


Even though an employee’s disruptive behavior can be quite difficult to manage and deal with, it isn’t something that is completely beyond resolve. No matter how terrible the disruptive behavior is, there are still plenty of ways you can try and prevent it and sort it out if it ever does arrive. Think you might have a problem with this kind of disruptiveness in your office? Read on to find out exactly what you can do to shut it down.



Offer Sufficient Training


There is no denying just how important training is for the workplace environment. Not only does it show all of your employees all of the ropes of the business and what is expected from them in their various roles on a day to day basis. Not only that, though, but it also gives you a chance to outline the kind of behavior that you expect from them when they are in the office. This is especially useful when you are onboarding some new hires as it gives you a chance to outline everything that will not be tolerated. They then no longer have the excuse that they were not aware of the correct company policy. So, by offering plenty of training, you should find that incidents of bad behavior will be significantly reduced.



Document Incidents


Whenever an incident occurs, no matter what type of disruptive behavior it may be, it is super important that it is documented in full. You should, hopefully, already have an incident book at work that you and your employees can use to report anything. More often than not, any accidents and injuries will be reported in this, but any disruptive behavior should also be included. This shouldn’t be a too-detailed report but you need to include the date and time that the incident occured. There should also be a brief description of who was involved and what happened. If this is a one-off incident, then you won’t need to do anything more than report it in the incident book. These mini reports can then be used in a larger case as evidence if the behavior persists and you need to take further action.



Remove Enabling Factors


You might be aware of some enabling factors that make it even more likely for disruptive behavior to take place in your office. If this is indeed the case, you should try and remove them if at all possible. For instance, this is often the case with workplace bullying. What can start off as petty gossip and office hearsay can sometimes transform into something a lot worse and a worker might end up being bullied. If this is the case in your office, you should try and put an end to your employees gossiping. This may not be easy, but it is doable. Usually, it’s possible to stop gossiping by trying to promote an environment of respect. When individuals respect one another, they will be a lot less likely to gossip and talk about one another behind each other’s backs. There are a few other enabling factors that could be in play in your office. Lots of employees get jealous and frustrated when they think their manager favors their colleague. If you think that this kind of behavior is present in your office, you should try and stamp it out as soon as possible. Tell all your managers that they should not have clear favorites in their teams. It is important that each employee gets equal respect and attention as their co-workers.



Have A Meeting With The Individual


If there seems to be some persistent disruptive behavior in your office or workplace, you should endeavor to speak to them one on one. Ideally, this should be carried out very discreetly in a private space. Try and keep this private from all of the other employees in your company as it could be quite an embarrassing meeting for the individual to have to go through. You should outline the problem that you have with them, whether they are constantly rude to you and other colleagues or if they have been showing some examples of very disruptive behavior. In this meeting, you should also make sure that you explain why these examples of behavior are bad for the workplace and company as a whole. Maybe the individual wasn’t aware that their behavior was so productive to everyone around them, and they can then know that they need to make some big changes. Plus, this meeting also gives you a chance to chat with the employee and see if there is anything that you or the other managers could do to help them improve their behavior. For instance, their disruptiveness could just be a cry for help. They might even want to explain that there is a reason for their behavior – maybe they are lashing out because of some gossip or bullying. You will then know that there is an underlying cause that you need to try and remove before they can sort out their behavior. In this meeting, you should give the employee a warning and, as part of this, you will need to fill out a disciplinary action form. This outlines that you have had a discussion and that the employee knows that their behavior will no longer be tolerated. If you aren’t sure how to create and use a disciplinary action form, you should be able to find lots of advice online that can help you. Hopefully, this should encourage the employee to end their disruptive behavior.


Have A Staff Meeting With All Your Managers


It’s not just the individual in question who you need to meet with. You should also consider having a staff meeting with all of the other managers in the company as well. This will give you all a chance to discuss the employee and various incidents that have taken place. You can then try and brainstorm together to see if there is anything that you can think of that will solve the issue for good. This also gives all of the managers a chance to come together and discuss all of the employees on their teams. They can voice any concerns over any that might be showing some mild disruptive tendencies. You can then discuss any steps that can be taken to put a stop to these mild disruptions before they get worse and turn into any bigger issues. If you feel it necessary, you might want to hold these meetings on a semi-regular basis, such as once every couple of months. You could, of course, increase the frequency if you ever feel like there are lots of incidents that you need to come together to speak about.


Give A Final Warning


If the problem persists and the particular employee continues with their disruptive tendencies, even after an initial warning and being asked to improve their behavior, then it might become necessary to give them a final warning. This warning should be the last one you give them. It lets them know that there will be no more chances given and that anymore issues with their behavior could end with them having their contract terminated. They then have two options left: improve their work ethic and behavior or risk losing their job altogether.


Terminate The Contract


I know that there are some bosses and managers out there who would continually give their workers an infinite number of second chances. This is often the case with managers who like to believe in people and want to think that people can turn things around for themselves. However, there will come a point when you need to know enough is enough. At some point, if a colleague’s bad behavior and rude tendencies persist, you will need to begin the process of terminating their contract. This is not only in the company’s best interest but also in the best interests of all your other staff too. Once the disruptive employee has left the business, everyone will be able to get on with all their work in peace. Plus, it could also be in the best interests of the disruptive employee. Sometimes, these kinds of tendencies come about as a result of not being a good fit for the company. They might find that they are much better suited to a different work environment at another firm.


Make sure that disruptive behavior doesn’t threaten your company. Use these steps whenever necessary to keep employee disruptiveness down to a minimum.