“Don’t mind him, that’s just how he is.” How often have you heard that statement to justify someone's behavior? Have you ever been expected to put up with someone who exhibits disruptive behavior such as discourtesy, disrespect, bullying, or harassment? Excuses are often made for people who exhibit these behaviors, and we let these incidents slide.
Every employee should be held to the same standard, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect—whether it’s employees, customers, or guests. Sure, everyone can have a bad day and we can offer our support and cut them a little (and I mean a little) slack, but an ongoing display of these behaviors needs to be addressed.
But, how do you address it when you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around certain people? Take a look at your policies and procedures. I recently wrote about this in regards to toxic work environments, but the reason I keep coming back to your policies and procedures is that they are a great resource. They provide a framework for the culture of your organization.
Get everyone on the same page and let them know that disruptive behavior won’t be tolerated any longer, even if it had been in the past. This applies to everyone—no excuses. With this clean slate, let’s make our organizations even better places to work with respectful and professional interactions.
Share your thoughts. How do you handle working with individuals who constantly exhibit disrespectful behavior?