Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.
WHEN A PERSON IS CALLED ON THEIR COMMENTS OR JOKES,
THEIR RESPONSE IS "IT'S ONLY A JOKE" OR “CAN'T YOU TAKE A JOKE?”
A WOMAN IN A MALE DOMINATED WORKPLACE GETS LESS THAN KIND
COMMENTS FROM THE GUYS AND WHEN ASKED ABOUT IT QUIETLY,
SHE SAYS IT DOESN'T BOTHER HER, OR SHE CAN TAKE IT
ASKING A PERSON WHO IS CONSIDERED A "MINORITY"
TO DO TASKS OTHERS ARE REQUIRED TO DO, YET THEY CRY FOUL
EMPLOYEES WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND MANAGERS WHO MAKE DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT UNIONS, GENERALLY
WHEN SEVERAL EMPLOYEES MAKE DEROGATORY COMMENTS ABOUT
ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, WHO IS NOT PRESENT, AND OUTSIDE OF WORK
WHEN SOMEONE TELLS A JOKE, MOST PEOPLE LAUGH, BUT IT'S INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY FOR ONE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, BUT NO ONE SAYS ANYTHING
WHEN EMPLOYEES DON'T WANT TO PICK UP THE SLACK BECAUSE A CHRISTIAN EMPLOYEE NEEDS TIME OFF FOR MASS AND WON'T WORK ON SUNDAYS
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TAKES PART IN REPUGNANT, BUT NOT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS A WHITE SUPREMACIST GROUP, OUTSIDE OF WORK
YET NEVER SAYS OR DOES ANYTHING AT WORK
WHEN TWO EMPLOYEES WERE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, BUT HAD A PHYSICAL FIGHT OUTSIDE WORK AND NOW ONE OF THEM WON'T WORK WITH THE OTHER
OVER SOME OPEN FORM OF COMMUNICATION (RADIO OR GROUP EMAIL) AN EMPLOYEE STATES ABOUT ONE OF THE GUYS, "IT MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH" BECAUSE THIS FELLOW WAS BEING TOO EMOTIONAL
WHEN A WOMAN CAN’T DO THE SAME PHYSICAL WORK
A MALE CO-WORKER CAN DO, BUT IT’S ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE JOB
WHEN A PERSON APPEARS ALMOST RUDE IN EMAILS, BUT IN PERSON THEY COME ACROSS DIFFERENTLY – CONSIDERATE
WHEN SOMEONE WON’T TAKE “NO” FOR AN ANSWER – THEY HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL APPEALS AND PEOPLE DON’T SEE IT HIS WAY
WHEN SOMEONE IS AFRAID TO SAY ANYTHING TO SOMEONE WHO IS “DIFFERENT” FOR FEAR OF A COMPLAINT OR INSULTING THESE PEOPLE
PERSONS LOWER THEIR VOICES WHEN TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS (WHISPER) “BLACK”
We all know this type of person. One day they are fine, but the next day they aren’t. You don’t know if today is going to be a good day or a bad day, so everyone has to walk around as though they were walking on egg shells – fearing they will break at any moment.
This is very disruptive on most everyone at work. We don’t think one person can have such an influence on so many people, but this person does. There are times where a supervisor tells me that they are able to get a moody person to make change for a short time, but then he goes back to his old ways. In many cases nothing more is done to make on-going and lasting change.
If you’re dealing with a person who has some mental health issues, you’re going to have to find a way to address that. This is often difficult because no supervisor is expected to take on the task of doing a psychological assessment – in fact, you can’t and you don’t want to. But if you’ve tried everything you think is reasonable, you may have to suggest the employee talk to someone in an employee assistance program (if you have one) or another professional. It’s not easy to do and I strongly suggest you seek the advice of human resources or others at your workplace first.
For the other times, supervisors just have to do the work that must be done – that is, address the problem, set out expectations for change and then follow up.
Talk to the moody employee about specific behaviours. Stay away from “you always” or “every time,” unless it is every time the employee does something. If the employee exhibits similar behaviours while you’re having this discussion, then point it out as an example that must be changed. Don’t assume a person can’t change unless you’ve given her the chance to change. But you must follow up and there must be consequences if the behaviour doesn’t change. Otherwise the employee will realize you’re not serious.
“When you stop talking to me and other employees because you’re upset, that doesn’t resolve your problem and it only makes it difficult for others to work with you. If you have a problem, I need to hear about it, or you need to talk to a colleague. Shutting down doesn’t help and it just makes things worse.”
“There are times when I ask you to do something or a co-worker asks you to do something. I’ve observed that you fly off the handle or get upset by these simple requests. That’s not the way I want us to interact with one another, so I need you to explain to me why you act this way. If there is something we can do to help, then we need to know, otherwise you need to find a way to accept normal requests at work.”
“Two months ago I spoke to you about your behaviour. I saw an improvement but that behaviour has come back and that needs to stop. If something has changed since we last spoke, then I need to know what needs to be done. Otherwise I need you to refrain from your inappropriate behaviour or I’ll have to impose discipline.”
Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP
If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.
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