This is a common story in so many workplaces. One of your team members is being quite disruptive. Perhaps they are upsetting others within the team or clients or customers. Before long, people start to give you feedback about the behaviour issues they are observing. So, what do you do next?

Ignoring behaviour issues is never a good strategy as they may spiral out of control. You could instead address the issue to show the team you take this issue seriously. However, is it all their fault? Or were there others involved? Were they reacting to other bad behaviour that was happening? Behaviour issues can be tricky and there is often no simple solution.

Behaviour issues can take many different forms. Bullying, aggressive behaviour and harassment are some of the more nasty, overt behaviours. Others are more subtle, such as demonstrating passive-aggressive behaviour, spreading rumours or gossip, withholding information or excluding people from workplace activities. Behaviour issues can also include actions or behaviour that stops your team from working effectively or causes adverse impacts to others in the team.

Behaviour issues in the workplace can sometimes be hard to tackle. It can be difficult to see them for yourself. Some team members are on their best behaviour when the boss is around. Or perhaps you’re seeing behaviour issues with your top performers. This may have you tempted to look the other way, because they are so important to the performance of your team.

Personal circumstances can also trigger behaviour issues. Someone who is cool, calm and collected may have an angry outburst at work when they are also going through a stressful divorce at home.

There are many factors that can cause behaviour issues but solving them can be even trickier. The presence of strong workplace relationships and politics can hamper your efforts to improve the situation.

Behaviour issues may also be subjective, in the eye of the beholder. For example, some people may be fine with rough and tumble workplace banter, while others may take offence. Some workplaces are filled with cursing, but in others this would not be considered acceptable. The different opinions of the people involved can complicate resolution of these situations.

Lastly, some behaviour issues run close to the border between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. When someone displays questionable behaviour sometimes and not others, leaders can be tempted to think that it was a “one-off situation”.

As you can see, behaviour issues can be complex and there are thousands of factors that may complicate each situation. Addressing these behaviours, as challenging as it can be sometimes, is imperative to maintain a healthy working environment.

For further advice see Workplace Wellness Training Programs at: