Employees are the image of any organization. You will find all kinds and varieties scattered at each desk and every department. It is human to be different and not everyone can be perfect, so every office will have a few unprofessional employees.
They may be the milder forms of intruders, who cannot help but talk about how great their weekend was or how far is the new restaurant from office. Some moderate intruders will be popping at your desk every hour, irritating and disturbing you.
Extreme behavior too like behaving rudely with co workers, avoiding work, poor performance, offending office rules and timings, frequent breaks and absenteeism, harassing others, negative attitude, etc., are just a few examples of employees who display an unprofessional attitude.
Well, we all agree, sometimes is acceptable, but some employees are habituated to a nonprofessional attitude. This will not only cause low productivity, but will also affect other employees, disturb the office environment and cause monetary and non monetary losses to the organization. Such people can cause a bad office environment, and create disturbance.
If there is no stability in human and man power in any business, will there be the time to grow substantially? New projects, ideas and developmental plans cannot go full pace if there is no balance in professionalism in employees.
So how do you handle such people? Well, firing them is not the only solution. One cannot afford to train a new employee every few months, but nor can one tolerate an unprofessional and arrogant employee, with all privileges to freedom like at home!
Dealing With Unprofessional Employees
The lack of professionalism can create a clumsy image and career. Such employees need an awakening call, this is exactly what you will have to do. Learn and understand how to deal with bad attitudes, combat employee absenteeism, and develop a healthy professional attitude.
- Understand the difference in extreme unprofessional mindset and a casual attitude that may be intermittent. A small confrontation can deal with a casual outlook at work. So that can be handled timely and at a primary level. But with a toxic and extreme unprofessional attitude, a stronger action should be conducted.
- To understand this difference, you can take a test. If the employee is hardworking always, is benefiting the organization, has healthy attitude towards co workers, and is serious about a strong career and growth, he is the perfect professional. But if the employee fails to qualify in any of these pointers, it is time to take action.
- Observe the employee and make a note of the unprofessional attitude and behavior. Make a note of all the details, with noting the date and time if possible. One day of observation is unfair to put a serious blame like incompetence on him/her, so assume may be a week's notice.
- Once this is done, arrange a one-on-one with the unprofessional employee. You can include another senior, or a reporting head of the employee if you want. Sit and talk about this behavior, show and explain the observations that are noted down.
- Never blame directly and bluntly cut the conversation. Explain how this behavior is not acceptable and how it is affecting the organization. Point out the rules or code of conduct that have to be adhered to.
- Listen, and give a chance to the employee to portray his side of explanation for such behavior. Be fair, and let him put forth all that he wants in defense. Be genuine and understand if the reasons are acceptable.
- Ask him/her if there is anything that is troubling or compelling him toward this behavior. Do not get very personal, but if there is something that can be sorted, offer possible help, if the issue is work related.
- Explain the plan of action. Let him/her know that this attitude is not acceptable and needs to be changed. By now, it will be obvious, if the employee is really willing to change and work it out, or if he remains stubborn at his behavior, giving you pointless reasons. In either cases, most companies will give a chance to prove professionalism and hard work.
- If the employee is an under performer, explain to him about his progress and what the company expects from him. Show all possible data to prove where he stands and where should he ideally be. If there are behavioral issues, the HR department should be able to handle it with counseling.
- After taking all developmental efforts and observations, you will know if the employee has changed to a better professional or if he still has a bad and unprofessional attitude. In case of the latter, you may want to give a final warning, or ask the employee to leave or be asked to leave.
Dealing with unprofessional employees has to be executed in a strict yet decent manner. Do not lose your cool, give him/her a fair chance to justify and defend, even if it does not fit in the legal rules and regulations that your organization marks. This will be a mark of your professional attitude even under strained circumstances.
Professionalism is a virtue, and it develops a fine personal and social attitude in an individual. It is the most essential tool that almost shapes your career. Make sure you sport plenty of it!