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The Difference Between Bad Behaviour and Workplace Misconduct

Angry coworker How HR Professionals Can Address Complex Workplace Misconduct Issues

HR managers are tasked with making critical personnel decisions and spotting the difference between bad behaviour and workplace misconduct. With ongoing labour issues and absenteeism across North America, correctly differentiating between the two can save your company time and money by retaining staff with behaviour issues that can likely be adjusted.

The difference between the two can be challenging to spot, and one must be addressed differently than the other. HR managers can retain employees that simply need direction and move on from staff who may create more significant issues in the long term.

Industries That Have Gained a Reputation for Bad Behaviour and Workplace Misconduct

These are the top industries that have been known to have issues:

  • Logistics, warehouse, shipping and receiving
  • Food delivery and ride-share
  • Healthcare industry, including hospitals, seniors’ homes, and long-term care facilities
  • Construction, manufacturing, contractor work, roofing, road work
  • Waste management
  • Foodservice, including grocery and fast-food
  • Natural gas and mining industries
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Retail industries serving consumer goods

Toxic Workplace The Difference Between Bad Behaviour and Workplace Misconduct

Bad behaviour among workforces can manifest itself in many different ways, resulting in reduced performance and low productivity levels. Why workforces behave badly is a complex question with answers ranging from a general misunderstanding of the task, a lack of training or management, or something entirely unrelated to the workplace.

For HR managers, knowing the difference between the two is imperative, as bad behaviour can be adjusted, while workplace misconduct may lead to employee termination.

These are the notable signs of bad behaviour that do not typically warrant disciplinary action:

  • Mishaps and errors repeatedly occur in an employee’s work
  • Low performance and inability to follow simple directions from managers
  • Work is completed but not on time

HR professionals can work to address these issues and support their workers by offering additional training, refining and explaining expectations, or simply inquiring about any problems that may be impacting the employee.

Clear Instances of Workplace Misconduct That HR Managers Can Spot

Every industry should have clear policies that outline a worker’s duties and responsibilities, including an employer’s expectations regarding what is and isn’t appropriate within the workplace.

These are the most common issues of workplace misconduct that can be addressed with either disciplinary action or termination:

  • Being repeatedly late for work
  • Poor adherence to a company’s dress code or hygiene
  • Inappropriate comments to other employees, including intimidation, threats, sexual harassment, comments about race, religion, or sexuality
  • Impairment at work from either alcohol or drugs
  • Misuse of company property, including computers, cell phones, and social media
  • Theft of company property, including trade secrets and shipment itineraries

HR Interview How HR Professionals Can Address Workplace Misconduct

If an employee is guilty of workplace misconduct, HR will be forced to address the situation with either disciplinary action or termination. Each instance is unique, and HR professionals should work to create consistent practices that apply to their entire workforce.

A straightforward way to spot bad actors within the workplace is to perform pre-employment background checks at the time of hiring while regularly screening existing employees. This way, HR professionals can spot potential issues in advance. One bad hire can spoil an entire workforce, and avoiding candidates with histories of theft or misconduct can create a workplace free from internal losses and other complex HR issues.

Learn How ISB Global Services Can Work to Address Workplace Misconduct

ISB Global Services offers a wide range of background check solutions tailored to the needs of HR professionals in any industry. Explore our suite of products that not just include background checks, but also personality assessments and social media searches, helping to ensure the quality of your workforce, screening both new and existing employees. Complete your due diligence and ensure that your employees are free from problematic histories that can hurt your company’s productivity and create toxic workplaces.

Contact us directly to learn more about HR offerings, including background checks, financial record checks, identity verification, driving records, and more.
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