Everybody knows that bad behaviour in the workplace can lead to long-term problems, and most good managers like to nip it in the bud. However, how can you take action if you’re not sure what sort of problems to look out for? New research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) has pinpointed 10 of the most common problem workplace behaviours.

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In at number one is the habit of cutting corners – something witnessed by 72% of managers, with slacking off when nobody’s watching coming in at number five. How do employees get away with it? Lying to hide mistakes, badmouthing colleagues and passing the buck make up numbers two to four on the list. They also claim credit for other people’s work, but in a slightly more sympathetic, albeit equally troublesome twist – 63% of managers have caught employees lying to hide mistakes made by others. The other bad behaviours on the list are taking sick days (though it’s hard to be sure how many of these could be genuine), lying about skills and experience and stealing small items from work.

These findings come at an interesting time when an increasing number of workplaces are trying to implement clear ethics policies. Could these insights be a sign of problems at the top, as well as among regular employees? ILM’s CEO Charles Elvin has cautioned business leaders to examine their own approach: “If people are covering-up their mistakes, is this a sign of a blame culture that leaves people afraid to be honest?” he asked. “In many cases these behaviours are symptomatic of wider cultural issues which once uncovered can be effectively addressed to improve morale and organisational performance and ultimately help to avert crises and better equip businesses for the future.”

Once identified, problematic workplace behaviour should be dealt with immediately to ensure a more harmonious working environment for your employees.

Deborah  Hulme, Director, Minerva Engagement

Minerva Engagement improves business from the inside out. Ask us about our Engaging Leadership programmes.  View more blogs from Minerva Engagement or follow us on Twitter @MinervaEngage.