6 Ways to reduce stress in the workplace
July 30 2018Read more
In the workplace, you may come across challenging behaviour from several sources- from colleagues, managers, customers or even suppliers.
Productivity drops, morale breaks down, and engagement can hit an all-time low. If left, these behaviours could lead to disciplinary action and serious complaints.
That’s why employers must understand how to manage challenging behaviour in the correct way.
In this guide, we’ll describe the effective management of challenging behaviour in the workplace. We'll also look at what challenging behaviour is and how you can deal with it when it occurs.
Challenging behaviours can occur in a variety of forms, and they can range in intensity. Defining behaviour that is challenging is subjective, and perceptions can vary between individuals.
But the behaviour is abnormal. It usually puts an individual’s emotional, physical, or psychological at risk. Here are some examples of challenging behaviours in the workplace:
When dealing with challenging behaviour, think about what the underlying causes of the behaviour might be. If challenging behaviour continues it can cause mental health concerns or other personal life problems such as:
Recognising a case of challenging behaviour is the first step.
Try to get to the root cause of the reason for it. This will help you to work with the employee and arrive at a more successful outcome.
Consider whose responsibility is it to manage challenging behaviour in your workplace. Think about if the burden will fall on your line manager. If the HR department can intervene, this may be a suitable alternative.
Often, it's helpful for managers to try and resolve the issue with the employee directly before HR get involved. But every workplace is different. Sometimes a joint approach between departments can work too.
Managing difficult employees is a tough skill to master. Consider how you can improve your current approach:
When a staff member does raise a concern about a colleague’s behaviour, take it seriously.
Communicate your zero-tolerance approach to challenging behaviour in the workplace. Act quickly to create positive change.
Then, you'll start to set the standard expected in the workplace.
Dealing with difficult behaviour takes careful thought and consideration. When interacting with a challenging employee, try the communication techniques below:
With mental health related issues, you’ll need to take even more care when managing challenging behaviour.
Mental health problems can trigger certain behaviour such as panic attacks, loss of memory, or increased absence.
Ensure that if you are aware of any mental health problems, you address them with the employee. If you have an Employee Assistance Programme in place, make sure you’re signposting them to it.
Or you may wish to offer time off where necessary for the employee to recover.
Challenging behaviour can impact team morale and engagement levels in the workplace. But when you take steps to manage challenging behaviour effectively, it’s less likely to occur in the future.
Our Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) helps you look after your employees when they are experiencing difficulties.
We offer a 24/7, 365 helpline with trained counsellors, as well as legal, financial, and medical advisors.
Employees can access this service anytime, anywhere. When you support employees in this way, their mental health and performance at work will improve.
We also offer a support line for managers to guide them in dealing with difficult workplace issues quickly and correctly.
Our wellbeing experts can offer guidance and support on managing challenging behaviour.
Get in touch today on 0844 891 0353
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