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Is there a magic pill to fix behavioral issues at work?

Posted by Anadi Upadhyaya on October 21, 2011



Increasing sales numbers of best selling management books and the presence of visionary leadership still fail to influence some areas of behavior at the workplace.  You can decide whether you really want the status-quo or you want to be a change agent; to make some difference in behavioral issues. Some examples of those behavioral issues at workplace are:

  • You need to send multiple reminders to the people so that they can complete their performance appraisal on time.
  • You know the people who are eating others’ time by asking irrelevant or obvious questions in business meetings.
  • You witness unethical behavior at workplace but are silent about it.
  • You are a victim of a flood of forwarded work emails.
  • You have people who are always working, or at the workplace, but they are not really productive.
  • Your process inspectors are too rigid and a drain on productivity.

Of course, I don’t have a magic pill which will fix these issues, but I do have a very simple prescription that will help:

  • Practice effective communication. It will help you address most of the issues. Establish direct communication channels wherever appropriate.
  • Never reward, ignore, or otherwise encourage wrong behavior, as it will help it to grow.
  • Attack the problem behavior, not the people. Coach them to unlearn the wrong behavior and learn the correct behavior.
  • Establish a proper feedback collection mechanism. Don’t try to change the people, but the conditions, as it will persuade them to change their behavior.

It is likely that you might have similar prescription,  but at the same time, do you still have these issues?  Just having a right prescription is not enough until you put it into action. Have you implemented anything better to remedy the behavioral issues at your workplace? Please share if you would like others to try out the same.

3 Responses to “Is there a magic pill to fix behavioral issues at work?”

  1. Sri Subramanian said

    Great tips! I have found that empowering everyone to call out bad behavior, as it occurs, further helps foster a positive team culture. Certainly, there are situations, where all messages must be delivered by the manager – but, hopefully, that situation is less frequent, and can be the exception, rather than the rule.

  2. Great article, Anadi!

  3. […] Upadhyaya presents Is there a magic pill to fix behavioral issues at work? posted at TalentedApps, saying, “Just having a right prescription is not enough until you […]

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