Managing “Annoying” Workplace Behaviors

Oct 2, 2017 1:58:20 PM

Blog #1 of the series: Managing 4 Difficult Workplace Behaviors

What are “Annoying” employee behaviors?

Annoying behaviors in the workplace are just that – behaviors that may seem annoying, distracting and downright irritating, to the point of interfering with other employees’ ability to get their jobs done efficiently and in a productive atmosphere. Examples of Annoying behaviors can include things like difficulties with communication, excessive chatter about personal and non-work topics, attention seeking behaviors, and emotional and behavioral immaturity.

These types of behaviors can obviously create problems, and while it may seem that they often do not “cross the line” with regard to policy violations or evidence decreased performance, they do create difficulties which can impact workplace culture and productivity.

Where do we start to manage “Annoying” employee behaviors?

Prior to managing "Annoying" workplace behviors, it's important to ensure your policies and job descriptions address behavioral expectations, as well as disciplinary procedures. Any intervention into problematic employee behaviors should be anchored to solid policies and procedures.  If your policies, procedures and job descriptions need to be reviewed and revised, we can help. Click here for more infomation about our services solutions.

With Annoying behaviors, often the first approach is an informal discussion with the employee about the behaviors of concern. Often, these employees are not aware that their behavior is causing problems for others with whom they work, or that they have a negative impact on the work environment.

Be prepared to give specific examples of the current behavior that is causing concern, and be able to provide concrete suggestions for corrections and improvements; also, be able to outline which new behaviors you would like to see from the employee.

Is follow-up with the employee necessary?

Yes – in fact checking in with the employee several days after the initial meeting is highly recommended. Often, employees need a few days for the feedback to “sink in” and they may have questions and feedback for you that has come up since the initial meeting. It is very important to be available to answer those questions early in the process, and affirm the employee’s attempt to implement any changes you have suggested.

Going forward, it is also important to observe whether the employee is attempting to implement feedback in a positive manner, is ignoring the feedback, or is perhaps having difficulty but is trying to change behavior. Paying attention to how the employee responds to the corrections is key in determining whether further intervention will be necessary.

If you see that the employee is able to take the feedback and move forward positively and productively, great! Let them know you see the changes and that they are on track.

If the employee is struggling to make the necessary changes, continue to monitor and provide feedback as necessary. If the behavior continues to create problems, or escalates, a more formal Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) may be warranted.

As always, be sure to document your conversations and any interventions with the employee, or other relevant parties within your organization, as well as any additional behavioral observations and/or changes in performance.

Up Next…

Our next blog will focus on addressing what we call “Disruptive” behaviors. These include workplace conduct that may be more destructive than the” Annoying” behaviors just discussed, and include gross insubordination, heated outbursts, refusal to take accountability for inappropriate actions, “toxic behaviors”, attendance issues and performance issues. 


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Topics: WPV