Deal­ing with dif­fi­cult staff be­hav­iour

Clare Ea­ger, Peo­ple HR

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Business -

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.

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