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Annoying employee habits and what to do about them

Whether it’s the person who never washes up after lunch or the one whose ear seems to be glued to their mobile phone, almost every employer knows of a few pesky employee habits they’d rather not see in the workplace.

In a recent poll by Recruitment Coach, we asked respondents to rank the habits of employees that they find most annoying. Here are the top five habits and how managers should approach each one to ensure they are rectified.

1. Employees who are constantly late to work or staff meetings. This is when you need to remind your employee of the business expectations. Draw attention to their letter of offer which sets out the hours of work and relevant start/finish times. Additionally, make sure they are aware of the meeting etiquette in your business.

2. Employees who take too many sick days. This is a delicate problem, and it’s important to refer to the employee’s relevant award, letter of offer and/or policy document, and act accordingly. This may mean seeking external advice as there may be legal implications.

3. Employees who spend too much time on their mobile phone. Be certain of the facts before concluding the calls are non-business. Ensure you talk to them early on and clearly articulate how the use of the phone is affecting their performance.

4. Employees who do not clean up after themselves. Make sure that this is not an issue that is applicable to many employees – get the facts as far as possible and bring the expectations of the business to the attention of the employee. Remember, this is not a manager-to-employee expectation, it is about what the rest of the business expects all people to do when using a common area.

5. Employees who do not wear the correct uniform/attire. Be clear about the reason for the expectation, whether it be safety, brand awareness or business culture, and make sure the employee understands the reasons their behaviour is deemed to be out of line with the expectation.

Other responses received include employees coming in on time and then eating breakfast at their desk and employees regularly coming over to your desk for a chat, disrupting you and those around you.

It is important to note that all of these habits can be addressed by having an open and early discussion with the employee. Whilst some of these issues are not directly performance-related, left unaddressed, they can have a negative impact on the ability of others in the business to perform effectively.

Remember, if an employee doesn’t know they are doing something that annoys others, they will not know to modify their behaviour as the case may require.

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Paula Maidens

Paula Maidens

Paula Maidens is Managing Director of <a href="http://www.recruitmentcoach.com.au/">Recruitment Coach,</a> a unique HR coaching and consulting firm for small-medium businesses.

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