The first step in addressing workplace dysfunction (caused by poor behaviour, performance or otherwise) is to be sure you detect it as soon as possible. It is far easier to address concerns that are “picked up” and addressed early.
More significantly, organizations have been held accountable for being “willfully blind” to workplace issues and not intervening in a timely manner.
Take a moment to reflect on the current “health” of your team by asking yourself the following questions:
- Has there been a change in the team dynamics? For example, at staff meetings or in open workspaces, are there noticeable, distinct huddles of certain employees, ‘camps”, palpable tension or outright hostility?
- Are there any team members who repeatedly “take over” at department meetings and restrict the amount of dialogue and discussion that takes place amongst the rest of the group? Do “group decisions” appear to be consistently made by one or two individuals on your team?
- Are there team members that monitor, “micro-manage” and evaluate the work of other employees, causing resentment and hostility?
- Are there team members who are consistently inconsistent in their moods and interactions with others? Do you – or others – “walk on eggshells” around them because they are emotionally unpredictable?
- Are there team members who are repeatedly sarcastic and “insensitive” in their comments to particular team members (or to everyone on the team) but claim that they are “just joking around”? Do others, including bystanders, appear uncomfortable with their comments?
- Are there individuals who repeatedly gossip about others?
- Are there individuals who attempt to “divide and conquer” the team by pitting individuals against each other?
- Are there team members who constantly complain about everyone and everything? Might their persistent negativity be affecting workplace morale?
- Are there team members who are not “carrying their load” or are repeatedly making mistakes, causing others to have to do more work? Is this creating resentment?
- Are there individuals who are coming in late and leaving early, without explanation, or consistently calling in sick on Mondays or Fridays?
- Are there complaints of favouritism, preferential, differential or inconsistent treatment coming from the team (regarding work productivity, hours of work, breaks and other workplace issues)?
- Are there complaints about internal “silos”, lack of transparency or refusals to share information or cooperate, either within a team or between different departments of the same organization?
- Have any individuals (including employees or leaders outside your team) made any notable comments to you about the dynamics or your team or the behaviour of certain individuals on your team?
- Have you noticed any unexplained change in behaviour, performance or attendance of one or more team members?
- Has anyone asked to have “off the record” discussions with you just to “give you the head’s up” about one or more individuals?
- Does one particular person repeatedly approach you with this “confidential information” about others yet refuses to be named in a complaint or become involved in the resolution?
- Have rates of sick leave or turnover increased?
- If you have formally measured workplace morale, are your scores consistently lower than what you would like to see, yet you don’t know why?
- If you are a senior leader, have any of these “indicators” come up with one of your leadership staff, including front line supervisors, managers and directors?
If any of these issues sound familiar, you likely have an issue to address. This does NOT mean you have a situation that necessarily warrants a formal investigation or intervention. It does mean that you have a responsibility to “check it out” – to inquire into it further to determine appropriate “next steps”.
Contact Marli for immediate, helpful and practical advice on what action you need to take to demonstrate you have acted appropriately.
Also, consider having Marli in to your organization to facilitate one of her popular and extremely effective courses/workshops on The Mirror Method - How to Resolve Workplace Conflicts - 6 steps to building respectful workplaces that are practical & defensible.