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«Employees Misbehaviour: Formes, Causes and What Management Should do to Handle With Edit LUKÁCS „Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi ...»

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5.1. Understanding the hypersensitive No one likes to be criticised but most people can accept constructive critiques. However some persons feel any kind of critiques. Every time there are vague critique hints made related to their activity they become defensive and start accusing people that they are picking holes in them. The hypersensitive employee’s fear to be criticised leads to great precaution in all his activities. In order not to risk by making the smallest mistake he checks and double checks anything he does. Consequently he doesn’t succeed to finish his tasks on time. The hypersensitive employee may have low self-respect and therefore needs encouragement.

Approaching him takes plenty diplomacy and pleasantness. Every time his activity is being analysed one should start by praising the good aspects of the accomplished activities and then make suggestions of how he can improve the unsatisfactory zones (13).

5.2. Tempering tantrums There are employees who lose their temper occasionally and scream and yell at their colleagues and even at their bosses. They calm down rapidly but their demeanour affects the work of the entire team and some time has to pass until everything returns to normal.

Here are some suggestions of how to treat a person who has tantrums:

• After he has calmed down you should have a human to human discussion with the person. Emphasise you understand that it is not always easy for anyone to control one’s temper but these tantrums are not to be accepted at work.

• If he has another tantrum send him out of the room until he calms down. Tell him that the next tantrum will lead to disciplinary actions.

• Recommend him to think about the old saying: „count up to ten before opening the mouth”.

• If you have an employee assistance program suggest the member to set a meeting with one of the program’s advisors.

5.3. „Got you” game Almost in every organisation there is an employee whose greatest pleasure is to catch the others making a mistake. The persons who play this game try to display their superiority.

Because they usually do not have original ideas or constructive suggestions they find it satisfactory to discover others’ mistakes, especially their boss’s. They try to make them feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. The most adequate approach is by ignoring their observations

–  –  –

or the answer by making a joke and smiling: “thank you for drawing the attention before something bad would happen”.

5.4. Denying negativity Nothing goes right for the negativist employee. He always has a reason why an activity or a program can not be realized. Negativist persons cause more problems to the organisation. They oppose to every change just because they like to oppose. No argument ever helps. They often do whatever they can to sabotage a situation so that the new method wouldn’t work and they could then say: „I told you so”. Negativist persons have a negative impact on the team’s morale. As a rotten apple can affect a whole barrel, so can a negativist person spoil the entire team’s morale.

When new ideas are being brought forward to negativist persons it is good to ask them to express their objections out-loud and then assure them that their observations are being appreciated.

Negativism is often based on personality factors which are formed since a long time and which exceed the abilities of any manager to solve the problem. In this case professional help is required.

5.5. The informer The informer type problem-employee can be very good in his domain, can have multiple qualities, but has the greatest flaw: a bad character. He is disgusting by providing information about his colleagues to his boss: „X is late again”, „Y is talking to her friend on the phone again”. Such a man can manipulate the relations among the employees of a company for his own benefit. He is the same man who will leave to another company for a greater income and will expose all the secrets of the previous company.

Although it doesn’t hurt a manager to know everything inside a company and always be informed about it, such an employee could be dangerous for the company.

6. The employee handbook- a tool for handling with the employees` misbehaviour The employee handbook is a very useful way of documenting policies and procedures, and can serve a variety of purposes. The document informs employees about company policies, procedures and practices, and can communicate expected standards of performance and behaviour. The handbook is a reference guide to help managers and supervisors take appropriate actions in a given situation. A well designed handbook can positively influence employee morale and promote employee loyalty. Provided that the employee handbook is carefully drafted, it can be an important tool to avoid liability in employee lawsuits. The employer that clearly states policies against discrimination and harassment based upon race, gender, religion, age or other criteria; outlines grounds and procedures for termination; and follows these guidelines over time will be in the best position to defend against charges in these areas.

In their work, The HR Answer Book, the authors Shawn Smith and Rebecca Mazin propose to

create the employee handbook with the following structure (14):

–  –  –

The handbook should be written in simple and clear language, avoiding ambiguity. It is recommended to use a positive tone, not to adopt a punitive posture.

7. Conclusions Managers, like most people in our culture, have grown up believing that misconduct must be followed by punishment. But the fundamental purpose of a discipline system is not to punish misbehavior and enforce compliance- it is to build individual responsibility and reinspire commitment. Warnings, suspension and reprimands can certainly produce behavior change.

But punitive tactics will not produce employees who are committed to the goals of the enterprise.

An important role in sheltering organizations from employees` misbehavior has the preemployment screening of the candidates. If in the course of a background check on a potential

–  –  –

employee the manager discover a history of workplace violence, substance abuse and other workplace dishonesty, he/she should decide not to hire that individual.

As regards the monitoring and investigating any type of employee activity, mangers should ask

themselves these questions:

• Is the scope of the monitoring or investigating reasonable?

• Is there proper business justification for the monitoring or investigation?

• Are proper steps being taken to protect any employee-sensitive information uncovered during the course of the monitoring or investigation from disclosure to parties that do not have a need to know this information?

Excessive monitoring can be damaging to employee morale and monitoring without notifying employees that they are monitored may lead to a lack of trust in the integrity of the organization. It is critical to develop and communicate a sound policy regarding proper usage of the company computer and e-mail system. Managers have to limit the scope of monitoring to that which is necessary to achieve their legitimate business purposes.


1. 1.Yoav Vardi, Yoash Wiener: Misbehavior in Organizations: A Motivational Framework, http://orgsci.journal.informs.org/cgi/content/abstract/7/2/151

2. Smith, Shawn, JD; Mazin, Rebecca: The HR Answer Book, American Management Association, New York, 2004, pg. 169;

3. ***Hartuirea morala la locul de munca, http://agency.osha.eu.int 4. ***Violenta in munca, http://agency.osha.eu.int

5. Smith, Shawn, JD; Mazin, Rebecca: The HR Answer Book, American Management Association, New York, 2004, pg. 171-188;

6. Oborne, David- Ergonomics at Work, John Wiley &Sons, Chichester, England, 1995, pg.370-371;

7. Bjerver, K.and Goldberg, L.- “ Effects of alcohol ingestion on driving ability”, Quarterly Journal on Study of Alcohol, 1950, 11, pg 1-30 8. *** http://www.hr.com/SITEFORUM?t=contentManager/onStory_print&e=UTF-8&i=11

9. Dr. Joni Johnston: Why people do not get fired: the psychology of discipline avoidance,http://www.workrelationships.com/site/articles/performance_management.htm

10. 10.Petelean, Adrian : De ce apar conflictele în organizaţii ? (II), articol pe http://www.markmedia.ro/article-print.php?.g-id=416 11. 11.* * * Sfatul profesionistului : Angajaţii dificili în companie, articol pe http://www.avocatnet.ro/content/articles/id_9590 12. 12.* * * Angajaţii dificili, o provocare, articol pe http://www.zf.ro/articol_122222

13. 13.Dr. Pell, Arthur R. – Managementul resurselor umane, Editura Curtea Veche, Bucureşti, 2007, pg.


14. 2. Smith, Shawn, JD; Mazin, Rebecca: The HR Answer Book, American Management Association, New York, 2004, pg. 30-40.


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