This blog series addressed 4 behaviors (Annoying, Disruptive, Aggressive, and Dangerous) that can be challenging for HR professionals and leaders to manage. The series provided a number of practical suggestions for intervening in a safe and productive manner to prevent escalation.
So, taken together, what does it all mean?
Policy, training, and vetted procedures are critical factors in addressing and reducing these behaviors. In short, prepare, prepare, prepare.
As we have learned, each of the behaviors discussed in this 4 part series requires a response that is consistent with what we are observing from the employee, and that is also in accordance with organizational policies and procedures.
It is also vitally important to identify who within your organization will lead the charge when such behaviors are reported or observed. For instance, annoying and disruptive behaviors might start with intervention at an HR and manager level, whereas aggressive behaviors likely require a manager and HR intervention, as well as security and legal involvement, and perhaps even consultation with a threat assessment professional. Dangerous behaviors will require all of the above and will almost always include contact with law enforcement.
Additionally, identification of both internal and external resources as part of your organization’s response is vital in being prepared to mitigate these behaviors quickly and safely. With our many years of experience, we can’t emphasize enough that advance preparation pays off significantly in being able to respond quickly and appropriately when these situations arise.
Policy, Procedures, Protocol
The time to develop policies, procedures and immediate response protocols is before an incident occurs. We encourage all organizations to look at what currently exists in their work environments to address these behaviors expediently and effectively. Important questions include:
- Do you have a workplace violence prevention policy?
- Do you have an employee conduct/harassment policy?
- Do you train HR and/or Risk Management staff to respond to threats and acts of violence? Is there a designated individual within the organization who is trained to coordinate response?
- Do you train managers and supervisors about all workplace conduct policies, to recognize signs of trouble and potential violence in an employee, to report all threats to HR or a designated individual within the organization and to manage employee discipline issues?
- Do managers and supervisors know where and when to get help from HR?
- Are employees trained about policies, and aware of their mandate to report any threats or concerns about violence to their managers, supervisors or HR?
- If an incident should occur, do you have external resources that are vetted and ready to respond? i.e. Legal, Threat Assessment Professional, EAP, Security.
Strong leaders are prepared to take action to intervene and respond quickly to annoying, disruptive, aggressive and dangerous workplace behaviors in order to provide a peaceful and productive workplace for all employees. We hope this series has been helpful in providing a framework and suggestions for managing such behaviors.
Looking for a resource to help you manage and disipline difficult behaviors in your day-to-day activities? Download this Roadmap.