With fresh allegations emerging from the BBC with regards to inappropriate behaviour, our latest article looks at the impact of inappropriate conduct inside and outside of the workplace and how to address this behaviour alongside some tips for preventing future reputational damage. It can be difficult to navigate through the challenges or understanding the boundaries between employment and personal life – crossover is inevitable, and we seek to assist companies to define how they might manage effectively.
Ignoring inappropriate behaviour can be detrimental to both the employer, the employee and other employees and creates a distrustful workforce and an unethical work atmosphere. The speed at which this is dealt with is key as ultimately delays can lead to the downfall of the brand and the company.
Inappropriate conduct can take many forms. Some of these are:-
- Disruptive behaviour examples are:
- Sexual Misconduct
- Drug/Alcohol Abuse
- Criminal Activity
- Malicious Gossip – personal or about the company
- Oversharing Personal life and activities
- Showing Aggression
Whether at work or outside of the working environment, these disruptive and inappropriate behaviours can ultimately impact on the reputation of the business but can adversely affect everyone in the workplace too – leading to company-wide additional time and disruption – even the loss of some of your best staff. Not dealing with situations in a timely manner may highlight insubordination of the employee and a general disregard of Employer responsibility.
How to address inappropriate behaviour
It’s crucial that you have the correct policies and procedures in place in the event that something like this happens. An excellent place to start is introductory training in conflict resolution and people management. Supporting your managers with the resources they need to succeed can give them the self-assurance they need when dealing with challenging personnel.
Educate your employees on what is deemed as inappropriate that can impact upon the company and their work – avoid any grey areas. Their induction is often the perfect time for this as you go over the rules of the role and what’s expected of them during their tenure with your company.
Policies and procedures
Having clear policies and procedures that inform employees of the expected standards of conduct both inside and outside of working hours – and that failure to follow them could lead to disciplinary action – is often enough to eliminate the situation before it arises. Please note, in all cases you must ensure that you conduct a thorough investigation and base your decisions on the evidence you obtain, rather than public opinion or hear-say.
In particular, social media policies are a must. Having a social media policy for your business is essential in making sure your employees know what they should and should not do on social channels. Plus, it can help your company curb any legal or security issues.
A social media policy simply outlines how an organisation, and its employees should conduct themselves via the web. It also helps protect your company’s online reputation and encourages employees to also get involved in sharing about the company in their online networks.
The repercussions of not challenging inappropriate workplace behaviour can negatively influence workplace culture, having a knock-on effect on behaviour as a whole. Allowing inappropriate behaviour to go unchecked will result in colleagues feeling uncomfortable and potentially at risk, which leaves companies open to losing valuable members of staff. Staff absence as a result of workplace bullying or sick leave for mental-health reasons will also strongly impact businesses. Ultimately, inappropriate behaviour and not dealing with it in a timely manner can lead to reputational damage of a company brand.
For further information on the impact of inappropriate conduct in and out of the workplace, please contact us here.