If 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
Stella Chandler and I founded Focal Point on a shared belief that a training course run in isolation doesn't work. We passionately believe there must be support both before and after the training or coaching session itself for it to make a difference. When I am not facilitating sessions with clients or looking at ways to grow the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...