Managing minor misbehaviours at work

Wednesday 4 October, 2017 | By: Colin Fruk | Tags: HR, performance management, culture, management;

No staff member is productive 100 percent of the time. People step away from their desks to stretch their legs or they duck out to see if the parking inspector has left them a note, while some indulge in a full round of office hellos each morning. When are these non-work activities a problem?

Businesswoman relaxing at the desk in office 000033412626 Double2


First rumbles

Most of the time, managers and business owners let slide those little non-work things everyone does while on the clock. The rationale seems to be that a minute lost to a stretching or gazing out the window is a micro-investment in increased future productivity.

However, some staff will push too far. CCIQ's Employer Assistance Line senior advisor Jason Wales has seen it many times.

“I call it the earthquake effect,” Jason says. He explains that the little time-wasting acts can be likened to tremors that must be monitored to see if they are getting worse. “Engage staff on even the minor matters that are affecting the workplace productivity. If you don’t, the earthquake will come.”

And it’ll start with you.

Richter scale

Trust between staff and managers is usually cherished. Managers are grateful their people aren’t skiving off; staff, given their head, usually raise their personal standards. The people managers have to watch are those who spend, rather than invest, the trust they’re given.

“The best idea is to not let matters get out of hand in the first place,” Jason says because frustration builds.

“If when you’ve had a gutful is the only time you’ve acted on their behaviour, then you could be acting in a way the Fair Work Ombudsman considers harsh, unjust and unreasonable.” The employee hasn’t been given notice that they needed to change or that their job is on the line.

“Calling CCIQ can help you make sure procedures are followed on these issues. We look at all aspects, right, wrong or indifferent,” he says.

“There’s nothing wrong with admitting to us you should have followed a few more guidelines than you did.”

Classic case

Jason illustrates the problem with a simple scenario: someone who eats breakfast at their desk.

“Say they are due to start at work at 9 am and they arrive at 8:57, but they haven’t eaten. So, before they officially start, they are in the kitchen making a cup of tea and getting a bowl of cereal: they might be at their desk on time but they won’t be doing any work – they might be on or similar. It’ll be 9:20 by the time they actually start working.”

This sort of thing starts as a one-off, but for the staff member, it can become a habit.

“The time they actually start working after they arrive at work can get later and later, little by little.”

The fear supervisors have is that if they get strict on what seems like a minor deviation they can feel like ogres – especially with sensitive staff.

“It’s hard to manage and doesn’t seem worth the aggravation.”

However, Jason has seen this sort of scenario play out enough to know that, if handled correctly, the minor aggravation of intervention is worth it.

“Have those conversations. They are not petty. If these things are not addressed, before you know it you’ve got yourself in a mess.”

Become more confident about managing people in your business. Joing CCIQ today

Post your comment


  • Lesgoassy 18/07/2019 11:28am (2 months ago)

    Buy Cipro Xr Online Generique Priligy En Ligne Tadalis Sx Soft Side Effects <a href=></a> Cialis En Parafarmacias Where Do I Buy Cialis Canadian Levitra

  • AustPax 11/07/2019 5:19pm (2 months ago)

    Fastest Place Online To Order Clomid Buy Finasteride In Singapore <a href=>cialis no prescription</a> Acquisto Cialis Generico Sicuro Motilium To Buy 48 Hours

  • Lesgoassy 21/06/2019 3:21pm (3 months ago)

    Viagra Tadalafil <a href=>propecia online no prescription</a> Comparer Les Prix Usa En Ligne Propecia Online Without A Rx

  • Lesgoassy 08/06/2019 3:17am (3 months ago)

    Estrace .5 Pharmacist Opinion On Amoxicillin <a href=>cialis without prescription</a> Cialis Viagra Comparativa Duloxetine 60 Mg No Prescription Hong Kong Viagra

  • AustPax 12/05/2019 7:22pm (4 months ago)

    Tell Me About Generic Ciao Is <a href=>cheap cialis</a> Discount Secure Ordering Acticin Direct Does Cephalexin Affect Birth Control Pill

  • Mahjong titans online 26/12/2018 5:53pm (9 months ago)

    Play this Free mahjongg titans,you know friends china first organized this board game,this is world famous puzzle online game i like it this excellent graphic and good sound effected.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments