How to Deal With Bad Employee Behavior

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Confronting bad employee behavior is a difficult task that most managers deal with at some point in their careers. Bad employee behavior can refer to a variety of offenses -- sub-par job performance, gossip, dress code violations, poor customer relations -- and each must be addressed in a professional way by the employee's manager. Failure to remedy the poor behavior affects other employees' behavior and morale and possibly the image of the company as a whole. With proper preparation, however, a manager can address the situation in a way that benefits the company and the employee.

Keep a record of the employee's bad behavior that you plan to address. For example, if he is frequently late for work, compile a list of the days he is late and what time he arrives.

Set up a time to meet with the employee. A good time is at the beginning or end of the employee's workday, so it doesn't interfere with her normal tasks.

Review the company's code of conduct or employee handbook prior to the meeting. Bookmark sections that refer to employee expectations so you can refer to those sections during the meeting.

Meet with the employee and address your concerns. Refer to both the employee handbook and the list of offenses you previously compiled. Be calm and professional. The employee is most likely already nervous, and you don't want him to feel attacked.

Give the employee a chance to address your concerns.

Define your future expectations for the employee in a clear and concise way, including possible outcomes if the employee doesn't change her behavior. For example, if you don't see an improvement in a waitress' customer relations skills over the next month, you will reduce her hours.

Conclude the meeting and set up a time for another performance review in the future. The second review should take place a few weeks to a few months after the initial meeting.

Monitor the employee's behavior for signs of improvement. Give praise to the employee for his good behavior, so he knows he's on the right track.

Address the employee's performance during the second review. If the employee has improved, praise her performance and let her know you appreciate her efforts. If her behavior is still unacceptable, follow the course of action you laid out during the first meeting.