Troublesome Behavior At Work

By Louise Bauer Davoli

Troubling behavior is bound to happen in the work setting. However, when troublesome behaviors undermine efficiency and become disturbing to others it is time to intervene. Disruptive behavior is an ongoing pattern of conduct that bothers and upsets the worker's day-to-day interpersonal workplace surroundings. Although disruptive behaviors have long been a concern, these behaviors have gone unchecked and sometimes are accepted as part of the workplace environment.

Disruptive workplace behaviors are more than that one quirky person's idiosyncratic patterns. Disruptive behavior is inappropriate behavior that interferes with the functioning and flow of the workplace. It hinders or prevents employees from carrying out their workplace responsibilities. It is important that managers and front line staff address disruptive behavior promptly. If no one tackles disruptive behavior it typically continues to escalate, resulting in negative consequences for the perpetrator as well as others.

Individuals who engage in disruptive behavior in a work setting can almost always find ways to justify their bad behavior. Although there may be legitimate concerns about questionable workplace tactics and approaches there is a gross logical error rooted in the assumption that angry potentially dangerous and devaluing behavior can positively improve the company or organization's objectives. People who display disruptive behavior generally lack the ability to be self-reflective and are often clueless to the way in which their manner impact others.

Disruptive employees can be understood as having particular shortcomings related to self-regulation. Self-regulation includes one's capacity to manage and contain anxiety and process emotional states, maintain balance in self-esteem, respect other peoples' points of view, while remaining engaged in productive goal-oriented work-related efforts with others.

-- Numerous Conflicts

-- Poor Relationships

-- Anger Outbursts

-- Substance Abuse

Part of the responsibilities for organizations and companies that want to plainly demonstrate zero tolerance for inappropriate and disruptive behaviors also must provide necessary resources and mechanisms to safe guard against such behaviors. This includes opportunities to improve teamwork, foster a sense of mutual respect, and improve communication. These efforts also enhance the workplace environment reduce the risk for legal action loss of productivity, absenteeism, turnover, low morale, and lack of trust.


-- Code of Conduct

-- Training and Education

-- Standards for Behavior

-- Procedures for Investigation