9 Types of Negative Behavior Managers Need to Look Out For


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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Negative employee behavior can start off as a seemingly minor concern and steadily escalate into a big problem, so you need to stay vigilant to the signs that things might take a turn for the worst and take action where necessary.

Article 6 Minutes
9 Types of Negative Behavior Managers Need to Look Out For

The way employees conduct themselves in the workplace has a big impact on how an organization is able to function. Left unchecked, negative attitudes, habits and toxic behaviors could prove disastrous for a business, with research showing that underperforming individuals can cost a business up to $8,000 a day by limiting the effectiveness of the entire workforce.

You therefore need to be vigilant to any warning signs of bad behavior and be ready to take action to address the problem.

Here are some of the most common types of negative behavior to look out for:

1. Absenteeism

Absenteeism refers to the habit of employees not showing up to work or being consistently late. It can have a negative impact on the workplace in several ways. Firstly, it can lead to decreased productivity and missed deadlines, as other employees may have to take on extra work to compensate for the absenteeism. Secondly, it can cause a breakdown in team dynamics, as the absent employee may miss important meetings or fail to communicate effectively with colleagues. Furthermore, absenteeism can also lead to increased stress and burnout for the remaining employees, who may feel overworked and underappreciated.

Read more: Absenteeism in the Workplace

In addition to the direct impact on productivity and team dynamics, absenteeism can also have a negative impact on workplace culture. It can contribute to a culture of bad behavior and toxic behaviors, where employees feel that it is acceptable to miss work or show up late without consequences. This can lead to a decline in overall morale and motivation, as employees may feel that their hard work is not being recognized or valued. Additionally, absenteeism can be a symptom of underlying issues such as bad attitudes or poor management, which can further exacerbate the negative impact on the workplace.

2. Rudeness

The workplace should be a positive, comfortable place for employees to spend their days, so rude attitudes are simply unacceptable. Rudeness and inappropriate behavior can be particularly problematic if it impacts your client relationships.

Any employee who's rude to a colleague or client should be reminded of your company policies around workplace attitudes. Official cautions or more severe disciplinary action might be required if it becomes a persistent problem.

3. Resistance to working with others

Healthy collaboration is at the heart of most productive workplaces, so ideally all members of staff will exhibit positive behavior when working with others.

If some people seem reluctant to contribute to the team, there might be other issues at play, such as social anxiety, stress or worries in their personal life. Having one-on-one conversations and trying to find ways of working that suit the individuals in your team can be much more effective than expecting everyone to behave in the same way.

4. Bullying

Workplace bullying is, unfortunately, a common problem. It can cause major psychological harm on your workforce and impact the productivity of your business if left unchecked.

Every employer should enforce a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and or aggressive behavior, and all claims and complaints made by employees should be thoroughly investigated.

As a manager, you should always be on the lookout for signs of workplace bullying - such as certain individuals being unfairly treated or excluded by their peers or even potentially causing physical harm - and be prepared to take disciplinary action against anyone found to have engaged in it.

Learn more: Violence in the Workplace

5. Lack of discretion

Discretion is often an important and valuable trait in employees, particularly those who handle sensitive data relating to other members of the workforce or your clients.

Indiscreet practices - such as gossiping about the personal lives of co-workers or openly discussing information that a client has shared in confidence - are at best unprofessional, and at worst harmful to the business.

Some people might occasionally forget the importance of discretion, so an informal chat could help to remind them of the need to stay professional when they're at work.

6. Having nothing positive to say

Constant negativity is a warning sign that someone is unhappy in their job and lacks the engagement or motivation required to do their best for the company. Furthermore, negative attitudes can swiftly spread and bring the entire workforce down.

When negativity starts to become a significant problem, encourage the employee to speak openly about their concerns and give their own recommendations about how things could improve. If no clear or workable solutions can be found, it's worth asking if you want to continue your relationship with an unhappy worker who shows no interest in moving forward.

7. Not responding well to criticism

Everyone receives criticism at some point in their careers, and as long as it's delivered in a tactful, constructive way, it can lead to welcome improvements in individual standards and productivity for the whole business.

Accepting negative feedback isn't always easy, but employees should recognize the difference between understandable disappointment and showing an unprofessional, disrespectful attitude to anyone who offers constructive criticism.

If an employee fails to even listen to the views of others, or continues to work in a way only they think is best, it could indicate systemic problems that you should investigate immediately.

8. Engaging in gossip

Gossip is a natural part of working in large groups and organizations, but it can have serious consequences and cause significant psychological harm if left unchecked by managers.

Gossiping can negatively affect an employee's performance, productivity and morale. It can create an environment of distrust, hostility and bad attitudes among colleagues, leading to a breakdown in communication and teamwork. Gossip can also lead to misunderstandings and rumors that can harm an employee's reputation and career.

Moreover, gossiping often involves discussing other people's personal lives and private matters, which is an invasion of their privacy and can cause emotional distress. If managers don't deal with employees engaging in this kind of bad behavior, gossiping can create a culture of fear and mistrust that can harm the organization's overall performance and reputation.

Read more: Gossip in the Workplace

9. Arrogance and overconfidence

Overconfident and arrogant employees can have a negative impact on the workplace in a variety of ways. Their inappropriate behavior and bad attitudes can make it difficult for others to work effectively and can even lead to a toxic work environment. When employees are too confident in their abilities, they may disregard the ideas and opinions of others, leading to poor teamwork and collaboration. This can cause resentment and frustration among co-workers, leading to decreased morale and productivity.

Arrogant employees may also be more prone to engage in inappropriate behavior, such as bullying or harassment. This can create a hostile work environment and cause great harm to those affected. In addition, overconfident employees may be less likely to ask for help or admit to mistakes, leading to errors and delays in projects. This can further exacerbate tensions in the workplace and cause resentment among team members.

Read more: Dealing with Employees Who Always Think They're Right

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Join the conversation...

01/12/2021 Atunbi
Need more types of negative behave
16/01/2023 Alex Basnett
I have an employee at my place of work that always turns up late for work. I have tried to tell them but they do not listen. What should i do??
07/02/2023 Favourite
That was a good idea
15/06/2023 Jr Siabi
I think Rudeness is key factor, Nice content