Hi,
How should a sensitive employee be handled at workplace? We recently had an employee who left our organisation because of another team member know tried to joke sarcastically. Secondly, at times senior employees also insult juniors in front of other team members without thinking and later do not accept their behavior. How to get rid of such issues in office? Can we draft some policies on these?
Thanks in advance.
Deepa Sharma

From India, New Delhi
Deepa,
You can draft Code of Conduct wherein such types of acts would be treated as misconduct(s) and the employees would be liable to face disciplinary action if they commit these types of misconducts. All employees should be required to sign this Code of Conduct so that it could be binding upon them.
- S.K. Mittal
9319956443

From India, Faridabad
Dear Deepa Sharma,

If one of the employees left the company because someone passed a sarcastic comment against him or seniors insult their juniors in front of other team members then it clearly shows that your company has not bothered to give a specific shape to the company's culture.

Immediately, discuss with the top management and find out ways on how to create a culture of respect at the workplace. One of the means is to train ALL the employees on business etiquettes and interpersonal skills. Another means is to conduct a survey on the interpersonal environment in the company.

The seniors must be told emphatically that it is their duty to maintain the motivation of their subordinates and their affronts are demotivating the juniors. Their demotivation could be resulting in more errors by them which, in turn, could be resulting in customer dissatisfaction.

What you have quoted are just two visible cases. Nevertheless, there could be cases where an employee does not leave in a huff but neither gives his/her best. Such employees work only to protect their employment but they do now show any affiliation to the company.

Lastly, please look at your recruitment practices also. Has your company employed low-IQ persons in your company? If yes, then they will continue to commit mistakes and no amount of sarcasm or shouting will reduce errors by them. Find out whether it is a recruitment problem. If yes, then start filling the posts with the persons with higher grasping power.

In one of the companies, there was a problem with the Manager abusing his subordinates. Once an external consultant questioned him on his abusive conducted. He replied bluntly that give me a staff who understands the polite language. If the staff does not work unless I shout or abuse them then what can I do?

The challenge that your company is facing is out of the purview of framing a policy. If policies were to change the behaviour of the employees so easily then the world would have been a far nicer place to live in. Even if you prepare a policy, there could be a change for a temporary period and the things could come back to square after a while.

Thanks and feel free to approach me for the assistance of any kind.

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Deepa,
Quitting of service by the employee on ground of indiscipline at work place is a sensitive issue for any business establishment. This is a beginning and to be stopped immediately by the management before things go worse. The discipline and work culture are essence of any business entity as well a part of goodwill. This should not be tolerated at all and stern action should be taken against indiscipline employee.
Your management should convene a meeting of all employee to inform that management is serious and would not spare the indiscipline behavior. There after circulate the Code of Conduct and take the signature of the each employee or issue on personal name. The employees would be liable to face disciplinary action if they violate the code of conduct.

From India, Mumbai

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