Establishing clear criteria for misconduct allegations will help you identify whether or not there is a disciplinary case to answer. In this video, learn how to apply fair and objective criteria to allegations of misconduct.
- Managing misconduct informally is the first step in resolving issues in the workplace. Often misconduct is minor, inappropriate behavior, or simply a misunderstanding that doesn't warrant a more formal process. Addressing issues promptly and directly with the employee is the best method to maintain positive relationships and to avoid having issues manifest. So when you first become aware of an issue, you need to evaluate the severity of the misconduct and determine if an informal one-to-one conversation will be appropriate. How severe misconduct is in your company is determined by your policies and the code of conduct. If you have a zero tolerance level for sexual harassment, for example, then an informal one-to-one chat will not be sufficient. However, if an employee is rude, or distracts others by behaving in an unprofessional manner, then you may well recommend having a one-to-one in the first instance. The one-to-one happens between the line manager and the employee. And often the HR professional will not take part in this conversation unless either of the two requests the support. There are three parts to having a one-to-one on misconduct. The first part is the preparation. The line manager also needs exact details of the displayed behavior. When did it happen? What was said or done? And who else was present? The second part is the one-to-one conversation. Here the line manager explains to the employee what happened and why others are concerned about the behavior. They point out the relevant policies that the employee must adhere to, and the behavior they need to stop. You need to make sure the employee understands what is expected of them. Part three is the follow up. The line manager should make a note of the conversation in their diary and have a follow up chat with the employee after one month to see if they have experienced any further issues. You should also follow up with the person who may have complained about that employee and let them know that the concern is being addressed. I encourage you to address issues promptly and directly to avoid misunderstandings and promote positive relationships.