In any organisation, creating an open, welcoming, and supportive culture should be a top priority. So it’s crucial that all employees understand what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace.
Businesses must determine what behaviour is unacceptable, and clearly convey their expectations to all employees.
This is necessary to ensure that employees know what is classed as acceptable behaviour, so they know how to conduct themselves and interact with others. After all, what one person deems as acceptable behaviour, may be considered offensive or inappropriate by another.
Unacceptable behaviours, such as bullying and harassment, can affect anyone, and leaving them unchallenged can have severe consequences. It’s important that, as an employer, you address them quickly and effectively, and take steps to prevent them occurring in the first place.
What is unacceptable behaviour in the workplace?
Unacceptable workplace behaviour is behaviour that poses a risk to the business or the health and safety of others.
For example, the following behaviours are typically classed as unacceptable in the majority of workplaces:
- Aggressive behaviour
- Abusive language
- Breaching Health and Safety
Allowing inappropriate behaviour to go unchecked can lead to a whole host of issues in the workplace, including your employees leaving, feeling uncomfortable and in serious cases, feeling at risk. Unacceptable behaviour can also result in sickness due to mental health issues, especially if bullying is reported.
Do you have a policy in place to outline what is unacceptable?
To effectively prevent and address unacceptable workplace behaviour, it’s important to have comprehensive policies in place, which clearly outlines the behaviours that are not deemed acceptable by the company, and the consequences of failing to work to the standards expected. Your policies must be supported by a strong disciplinary policy, which outlines misconduct and gross misconduct allegations.
By putting in place clear policies, will not only give management a reference point to when dealing with accusations of unacceptable behaviour, but it will also provide a formal record of your expectations for employees, ensuring there are no misunderstandings.
In certain businesses we have put in place a code of conduct, this is a short document that explains what the standards and expectations are in the business. It can be given out with the employee’s new starter pack. It sets the company position from the beginning of employment.
What are the consequences of unacceptable behaviour in the workplace?
As well as outlining what is classed as unacceptable behaviour, your policy should cover how any unacceptable behaviour will be addressed.
As a manager you must ensure that you understand the policies and the actions that can be taken at each point. If employees raise concerns with you, it is very important to hear the concerns raised. Everyone has different levels of acceptance on behaviour. As a business you must take all opinions of what is and what is not acceptable.
If you need help preparing any policy’s to cover unacceptable behaviour, or you need support addressing unacceptable behaviour that’s occurring in the workplace, get in touch with our team.