How Employee Misconduct Affects All Worker Productivity

By: KMArticles
In any workplace, despite the number of employees, there are instances of employee misconduct. As a manager, you cannot hide from it when it happens. And you must deal with it consistently, fairly, and quickly. It is critical to workplace morale that you manage this problem properly. Otherwise it will cost your company in both time and money.

Forms of Employee Misconduct

There are several forms of employee misconduct. This article will just discuss a few major ones. First, an employee can be disruptive and disturb others in the same work area. Commonly, this takes the form of employees who are comedians and spend more time being funny than doing work. Such employees claim they are having fun to make it a better place to work.

An example, of course is the standard "horseplay" where employees carry out inappropriate physical antics. However another, more recent problem involving misconduct, is with the use of e-mail and instant messaging.

Employees like to e-mail and instant message jokes around the office. But some employees get carried away and spend much valuable time sending that perfect tidbit of humor.

Big problems arise from these types of disruptions especially when left unchecked. Physical antics by one employee can endanger the safety of his or her coworkers. This can cause problems for the company with OSHA or other regulatory agencies. Other issues arise when one or more of the recipients do not find the joke funny or are offended by it. Occasionally, this leads to an employee filing a lawsuit against the company. Both situations cost the business time and employee.

Besides disruptive behavior, employee misconduct occurs when an employee is abusive or refuses to follow directions. Their personal behavior may make everyone around them uncomfortable and may even create a hostile work environment. Sometimes these employees have a following of other coworkers who are just as abusive and insubordinate.

A third type of employee misconduct is when the employee has excessive absences either excuse or unexcused. Typically coworkers do not expect much from these employees and everyone is demoralized because of it. Usually other employees have to pick up added work so the project gets done leading to inefficiencies.

And lastly there is the employee who is criminal. This employee steals property, takes money, and does bodily harm to others.

Action Required Quickly

If left unattended to, misconduct will quickly demoralize the other employees you supervise. While everyone reacts differently, your top performers are usually going to be your first casualties of demoralization.

Finding out exactly what happened is the first action you as manager need to take in response to employee misconduct. Sometimes, exactly what happened is hard to decide because other employees may be too afraid to speak about it. But you must get all the facts. If you fire an employee for this particular misconduct you had better have documentation. This means talking with the employee accused of misconduct and carrying out an investigation. Most importantly always keep your ear to the ground since employee misconduct can damage your business.
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