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Blog - What can the world of politics teach us about managing inappropriate behaviour?

What can the world of politics teach us about managing inappropriate behaviour?

Posted by Tracy Powley 02/04/13

Inappropriate BehaviourIf any of us were ever in doubt about the importance of addressing behaviour at work, the series of high profile examples of inappropriate behaviour appearing almost daily in the press from across the worlds of sport, entertainment and politics should give the answer loud and clear.

Inappropriate behaviour affects morale, self esteem and performance and can cause untold reputational damage – as the BBC and Lib Dems in particular are discovering.

The problem for many organisations – as we have blogged about so often before – is lack of clarity.
The inappropriate behaviour that “isn’t really inappropriate, because it happened at the evening “do” of a conference and that’s not really work, is it?” The inappropriate behaviour that “is just a bit of harmless flirting and nothing was meant by it”, the inappropriate behaviour that “only the happened because of a few too many drinks on a team night out and what’s wrong with letting your hair down a bit?”

These questions show how grey some of these areas are...
So, how to get some clarity?
• Have a policy and talk to your people about it... Here’s a test – get your team together and ask them what they think is inappropriate behaviour – you will be amazed what comes out.
• Ensure your managers are confident in discussing these issues with their teams – (managers at every level – don’t let your board absent themselves from these debates)

Behaviour that is respectful and cooperative leads to happy productive teams. Behaviour that is disrespectful and inappropriate leads to unhappy, underperforming teams. Addressing this area is not some “fluffy, HR initiative”; it makes solid – indeed vital -  business sense.

Have a look at some forward thinking organisations who have addressed behavioural issues and the difference it has made

Tracy Powley
Tracy Powley

The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...

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