Resources: Blog

Key takeaways from our webinar ‘Managing Workplace Behaviour’

Blog
|

The Standard is the Standard

Workplace Law’s managing director, Athena Koelmeyer, recently presented our webinar entitled ‘Managing Workplace Behaviour’ during which she discussed many of the challenges faced by employers when it comes to managing workplace behaviour.

Workplace Law’s managing director, Athena Koelmeyer, recently presented our webinar entitled ‘Managing Workplace Behaviour’ during which she discussed many of the challenges faced by employers when it comes to managing workplace behaviour.

For those who missed the webinar, below are our three key takeaways:

1. Understand the difference between behaviour, performance and misconduct

It is crucial that managers and HR understand the differences between behaviour, performance and misconduct, and that they correctly diagnose the problem before taking any further action.

Poor behaviour can include a variety of things such as an employee being uncooperative or unprofessional, acting in a way that is passive aggressive or creates low-level tension in the workplace, or displaying poor email or online etiquette with customers or colleagues.

Poor performance is generally defined as a failure to achieve certain standards or output, usually measured against pre-existing goals or responsibilities that are relevant to an employee’s position, such as Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) or an employee’s Position Description.

Misconduct most often concerns an act (or acts) committed by an employee that is unacceptable and calls for some corrective disciplinary action.

As we discussed in a blog last week (In the driver’s sheet), improper diagnosis of the employee’s actions can lead to issues of substantive and procedural fairness and can have costly consequences.

2. Realise the importance of developing and implementing a Code of Conduct

Developing a Code of Conduct that sets out the employer’s values and culture will go far in minimising the risk of employee misbehaviour.

Employers should consider the standards of behaviour that they will expect from employees and set this out in a clear and unambiguous document, along with the possible consequences of non-compliance. A strong Code of Conduct, along with a leadership team that abides by its standards, will ensure that every individual employee knows what is expected of them, regardless of their position within the organisation.

A Code of Conduct should also serve to remind employees that they are representatives of the employer and their behaviour will be seen as a reflection of the employer, including when it comes to social media.

3. Act swiftly and fairly when poor behaviour arises

Poor behaviour can have toxic consequences for an organisation if it is not dealt with in a prompt and fair manner. It can lead to worse things like bullying, workplace gossip and low morale.

When an employer becomes aware of an employee behaving poorly, it should take appropriate steps to address and rectify the poor behaviour and remind all employees of the importance of upholding the employer’s standards of behaviour.

In many instances, a simple reminder to employees as a group will be effective.

However, where an employee refuses to adjust their behaviour in the workplace, managers and HR staff should not hesitate to address these issues directly with the employee, including in the form of disciplinary action if necessary.

 

Information provided in this blog is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Workplace Law does not accept liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance on the content of this blog, or from links on this website to any external website. Where applicable, liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Similar articles

FWC upholds dismissal of an employee who repeatedly and deliberately accessed customer’s confidential information without authorisation

Celebrity search

During the course of their employment, employees may have access to confidential information which belongs to their employer. This information may be in the form of personal information provided by customers and is therefore sensitive in nature.

Read more...

Fair Work Commission critical of investigation process despite the employer’s valid reason for dismissal

Less is more

Employers often see the disciplinary process as an opportunity to raise every single indiscretion by an employee – even though the issues occurred in the past or are minor in nature when compared to other misconduct. However, this approach can weaken the employer’s position, rather than strengthen the decision to dismiss.

Read more...

The onus and presumption in adverse action matters

It’s on you

Under the general protections provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), it is unlawful for a person to take adverse action against another person for a proscribed reason. One of the features of the general protections provisions under the FW Act is the presumption that adverse action was taken for a proscribed reason unless it is proven that the adverse action was not taken for that reason.

Read more...

Court fines PCBU $60,000 for failing to re-assess the risks associated with changing site conditions

Set and forget

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a positive obligation to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and others.

Read more...

Employee fails in bid to have safety-related dismissal found to be unfair

Garbage in, garbage out

A dismissed employee can lodge an unfair dismissal claim alleging that their dismissal was “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”. Employees will often claim that the dismissal was all three: harsh, unjust and unreasonable.

Read more...

Fair Work Commission finds employer’s failure to comply with its consultation obligations rendered an employee’s dismissal to be unfair

Pick up the phone

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on Australian businesses. Employers have had to, with little notice, adapt to these changing circumstances to try and minimise the adverse impact of lockdowns on the business and its employees.

Read more...

Let's talk

please contact our directors to discuss how ouR expertise can help your business.

We're here to help

Contact Us
Let Workplace Law become your partner in Workplace Relations.

Signup to receive the latest industry updates with commentary from the Workplace Law team direct to you inbox.