All employees are expected to perform their jobs in an efficient and effective manner. However, when it becomes clear that your ability to be efficient or effective is compromised, your supervisor may need to step in and address misconduct, inappropriate workplace behavior or poor performance.
Just like in any form of conduct or performance assessment, open and constructive communication between employees and supervisors is key. Your supervisor should communicate directly and immediately when behavioral problems or performance deficiencies first arise. Similarly, employees have the responsibility to communicate proactively to supervisors when issues arise that may impact conduct or performance so that these concerns can be addressed before they escalate into larger performance or behavior problems.
The supervisor should identify the problem, provide suggested ways of overcoming the deficiency, create a time period for that improvement, and establish the consequences if no improvements are made. It is advisable that a written record be made and/or written notification be provided to the employee.
A few examples of inappropriate workplace behavior that could result in disciplinary action include:
- Habitual tardiness
- An employee who forgets to do an assignment or who flagrantly refuses to do an assigned task
- Receiving and making excessive or lengthy personal phone calls
- Speaking to a co-worker, supervisor or anyone using profane or abusive language
- Disappearing or leaving the work area without informing a supervisor for an indefinite or unreasonable period
For more information about proper disciplinary procedures, please refer to the HR policy on Disciplinary Action and Termination for Cause [pdf].
Let Us Help
If you, as the employee, need help solving a work-related problem, the first step is to speak to your immediate supervisor. If talking with your supervisor is not a valid option, we encourage you to voice your concern to higher levels of authority or your department's human resources representative.
You may also seek advice on ways to deal with workplace problems by contacting the Employee Relations Manager or referring to the Employee Assistance Program.