Coarse and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace

Our team of staff have approached their senior manager to complain about a middle manager and their behaviour.

It surrounds different aspects of farting and belching in front of both the staff and clients, leaving the toilet in a terrible state and rendering them unusable as well as talking during lunch breaks with her mouth full and consequently spitting food at them. More significantly they have mentioned that there are conversations of a sexual nature which are deemed they are finding significantly difficult to be part off.  Other issues surround being undermined in front of clients, treating the team with contempt and just being bullish in her manner.  

They have tried to raise this with her but unsuccessfully. So they have now escalated it further. What process needs to be undertaken to deal with this and what advice would you give to have this addressed asap.  

  • HI Clayre
    To me this sounds like there might be health issues with the manager? Have they always been like this or has this behaviour just been noticed recently. If they are on medication maybe they have come off the medication and this is causing the out bursts.
    If it was me I would be speaking with them and also getting OH involved
  • Depends what they want
    if they just want it to stop then a strong quiet word is all that should happen initially and telling them that any sort of reprisal will be dealt with very firmly.
    if they want it dealt with formally then use the grievance procedure
  • In reply to Tracey:

    It seems that they have always been like this ( I am new to the business) but your point could certainly be valid. Thank you.
  • Grim.

    My first thought too was is this a new thing or have they always been like this and I can see that they have indeed always been like this, so as the new HR person people are crying out to you for help as nothings been done about it before (effectively) I assume?

    If they have had words with the person before it makes the opening conversation *for their manager* a little easier to approach. In your shoes I'd guide their manager through opening the conversation again, referencing previous discussions, nothings improved etc, are there any underlying issues do they think that they need support with etc - if no, then a very firm "these are not what we feel are socially accepted workplace etiquette practices, especially as they are impacting on others and some have potential to stray into sexual harassment (with the inappropriate comments being mentioned before and continuing to make others uncomfortable) so address this immediately to avoid it having to go any further."
  • In reply to Samantha:

    Samantha's plan gets my vote, especially that the appropriate person to do this is the manager's manager. That is the person who should be addressing conduct issues with their direct report.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    2 Jul, 2019 08:51

    In reply to Elizabeth:

    Agree with is ordinarily a line manager issue... to be escalated with HR support if necessary.

    Clayre... how long has this employee been with the business?
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    Only 3 years but I believe their behaviour has become progressively worse over the last 6 months. It has been addressed informally as mentioned. Thank you for your input. Much appreciated. 

  • In reply to Clayre Patricia:

    Out of curiousity Clayre, how well was that informal discussion received by the employee you were referring to?
  • In reply to Clayre Patricia:

    I think Samantha's approach is spot on, but I'd also be preparing the manager to think about an occupational health referral if there's something that feels not right here. The fact that the behaviour change has become markedly worse in recent months is a slightly red flag to me - is there something underlying that change that might explain things?
  • In reply to Samantha:

    I would like to know what the outcome of the process was? I would think dates and times of observed behaviours and some reference within the company handbook and policies and procedures would assist the discussion ensuring that you can elicit from this employee what they understand the accepted policy is on personal hygiene levels. Of course some companies do not reference this in the handbook.
  • In reply to Katrina Farrell:

    Hi Katrina, the issue was raised informally with the person who took the comments in a constructive manner and although it was a difficult conversation, it was resolved amicably, I am pleased to say. Thanks to everyone for their input.
  • In reply to Clayre Patricia:

    Glad to see it ended satisfactorily, and many thanks for keeping us posted!
  • In reply to Jack Davison:

    Sorry for delay in responding. They were embarrassed but received the informal discussion in a positive way and has improved their personal behaviour etc.