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Managing disruptive employees: A Personal Point of View

Many organisations don’t know how to deal with disruptive employee behaviour.

For a small business this can be a challenge that appears to have no end, takes too much time out of business and create lots of stress for business operators.

It is also too easy to focus solely on the behaviours that are disruptive than the possible causes.

Employee’s disruptive behaviour can be caused by:

  • Work issues – changes to routine new systems, new workers, new customers, existing customer bad days, abuse from customers, trade staff in the workplace, injuries and illness, racial abuse, managers expectations, etc
  • Non work issues – personal situation, health, weight, family, housing, cars, lack of money, friends, etc

There are two ways to deal with disruption at work – experience and having a strong personal point of view.

  • Experience – if you have dealt with this employee’s behaviour or another employee doing a similar thing, and approach the problem with an open mind, what you did in the past has a good chance of working. But it is not always guaranteed.

Having a strong personal point of view:

Principle 1 – Knowing when “enough is enough”! Knowing that it is gone beyond what you, your business, your staff, your customers, your suppliers will tolerate. It does not matter what the disruptive behaviour is, you need a line in the sand. If you do not have this line, it is not disruptive. It might be annoying but too bad! Until you call it disruptive, it is not !

Principle 2 – Once you finally call it disruptive and can’t deal with it, get an expert involved.


How many organisations do you know that don’t take this simple approach? How many managers do you know that are worrying so much about what their employees do that their business is suffering?

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