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"Leave Miley Cyrus alone"? The dangers of ignoring staff misbehaviour

by , 30 August 2013
Miley Cyrus is all over the news with her controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Some say her actions are the folly of youth, others say she's inappropriate and needs to be controlled. If Miley Cyrus worked for you, could you discipline her? Read on to find out...

With her skimpy outfits, raunchy moves and rude attitude, Miley Cyrus would be a nightmare employee.
 
But what can you do to an employee whose sole mission in life is to misbehave?
 
Labour Law for Managers says you should never ignore misconduct in the workplace. Even if your employee isn't at work at the time, their behaviour could reflect badly on your business.
 
Here are the perils of ignoring your employee's misbehaviour
 
1. You set a precedent. If one of your employees misbehaves and nothing happens to them, everyone else in your workplace thinks that behaviour is acceptable. You make it much harder to discipline misbehaviour if your employees can prove you accepted it in the past.
 
2. Employees don't take your rules seriously. Once your policy says one thing and you do another, the entire set of rules comes into question. Employees start to say things like "If Sarah can get away with X, they can't punish me for doing Y!"
 
3. If you ignore an employee's misconduct over a long term, you may 'snap' and deal with them ineffectively. Be it yelling or an overly harsh punishment, once you've had enough you make emotional decisions that will come back to bite you. Your employee can take you to the CCMA for unfair treatment if you verbally abuse them - even if their conduct leads you think they deserve it.
 
Bottom line: Don't let bad behaviour in the workplace go unchecked. You might end up with a Miley Cyrus style PR disaster on your hands!
 

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