Dealing with difficult staff behaviour
Clare Eager, People HR
EDB or Extreme Difficult Behaviour in its long form, seems to be the new buzz acronym that is doing the rounds within the world of employment.
The good thing is that the title of EDB, describes exactly what it is, extremely difficult behaviour.
And in the context of employment, there are many ways for employees to demonstrate EDB which includes being awkward on purpose, difficult, manipulative and seeming to enjoy creating work for their managers.
Therefore, the natural response is for employers to deal appropriately with employees who exhibit EDB.
Employers should deal with EDB not only to demonstrate to the individual that the behaviour is unacceptable but to also demonstrate to their other employees, that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
I cansee at this stage, some of the faces of people reading this article and looking quizzically at the page thinking, “haven’thaven t we always had em employees with EDB, what’s new now?” and to be fair to them, I can see their point.
However, in my view, the difference is that society is evolving and what previously may have been considered as EDB, could now be categorised as only difficult behaviour and the new ‘extremes’ are in unknown territory as this may be the first time that the situation has arisen for that employer.
In all cases of questionable employee behaviour, whether extreme or not, the question that needs to be asked is, is this behaviour acceptable?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then there is nothing for managers to worry about, so business as usual.
But, if the answer is ‘no’, the manager must point out to the employee that the behaviour is unacceptable, and identify if or how the employer can help them change their behaviour in the work place.
I recommend a three step approach to achieving this goal:
Step one – Identify the issue,s and why it is unacceptable.a
Step two – prepare for the conversation and Step three – deliver the message.
There are clearly lots to consider within these steps, but these are the aims of each step.
Organisations have got lots of tools to support them in managing their employees’ behaviour. There will be a mixture of relevant policies, company procedures, existing precedents, coaches, mentors, internal and external training and resources to name but a few. However, none of these resources will be of any use unless the employee agrees and believes that their behaviour is unacceptable.
Hopefully, whether the behaviour is categorised as extreme or not, actually addressing it as unacceptable is the first step.