Overlooking Minor Misconduct Prevents a Safe and Happy Workplace

No workplace is perfect because no human is perfect. Mistakes happen, and some employees will deliberately misbehave if they know there are no consequences. And sometimes, misconduct gets overlooked.

The #MeToo movement made employees pay attention to sexual harassment in a way they hadn’t before. But, of course, awareness has not brought significant progress as we find out that even nearly four years after the #MeToo movement began, leaders like Bill Gates are covering up sexual harassment.

Ideally, your business is not overlooking serious misconduct like sexual harassment or racial discrimination, but you are probably missing some instances of minor misconduct. Overlooking minor misconduct is a mistake, as over time it can grow into gross misconduct issues.

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4 thoughts on “Overlooking Minor Misconduct Prevents a Safe and Happy Workplace

  1. I would also add “hold managers accountable” if they allow abusive behavior to continue unchecked, just like you’d hold them accountable for not addressing other performance-related issues.

    1. The second time a given employee is the same problem, it’s really the manager that’s the problem.

  2. This article addresses some of the issues that causes “minor misconduct “ turning into problems. Like BethRA says in the comments, the person who supervises others, does have as part of their job, to be checking details and not just be the person in charge, putting out orders. Constructive detail reviews of aspects of job performance, made in unbiased view, should be part of the manager position. But that also depends on what level of management as most lower level management jobs are merely facilitators of orders from corporate office which doesn’t leave much room for detail review of minor misconduct issues causes because they are focused on end results only. Yes, this should be part of their job, but tell corporate that when their efficiency “experts” don’t include any time unless the individual is a super organized in-control person.

  3. Regarding so-called Zero Tolerance policies regarding minor misconduct (or any other type of behavior, for that matter), people often misunderstand Zero Tolerance to mean that it mandates the “death penalty,” that is, termination. I think that’s one reason why minor misconduct is often not addressed. Zero Tolerance just means that the conduct at issue cannot just be ignored; something has to be done. And that something can range from simple counseling — telling the offending employee to “knock it off” — all the way up to removal.

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