Have you ever been in a meeting where an employee completely lost their temper or slammed the door? We all get angry from time to time but it’s important for your employees to understand how their behavior impacts the rest of the team. While conflict and frustrations in the workplace are normal, angry tirades are not. Managers need to confront and address anger issues in the workplace before they make others feel uncomfortable, or even worse, become physical. As managers, it is your job to provide a safe working environment for others. Much like coping with stress, anger must be dealt with the right way so it can be channeled in a positive direction. Here are some simple ways to address anger issues in the workplace.
Set the Right Tone
There are some companies that might tolerate a belligerent employee and others that absolutely would not. If you want to ensure your employees are not getting out of control, it’s up to you to set the tone by creating a culture where that kind of behavior is simply not tolerated. Employees should be encouraged to communicate with each other in a professional manner. This kind of communication can be taught through employee training programs that specifically demonstrate what kind of communication is and is not acceptable in the workplace. Furthermore, expectations should be included in the employee handbook and most importantly they should be modeled by those in leadership positions.
Confront Inappropriate Behavior
Any time an employee demonstrates appalling or threatening behavior it should be dealt with immediately. Many managers make the mistake of ignoring it because they see it as a one-time isolated event. However, it is vital to handle these types of behaviors immediately to demonstrate the company’s zero tolerance policy. Start by talking with the employee and explaining the problem with their behavior. Coach them by offering suggestions on how the situation should have been handled and give them time to demonstrate their understanding. If the behavior does not improve, disciplinary action will need to be taken.
Provide Ongoing Training and Development
Anger management should not simply be part of the on-boarding process. This should be part of an ongoing training process. Your employees come from all different backgrounds and walks of life and therefore they all communicate differently. As you hire new employees, the dynamics of the office continue to change. Thus, employees should be given training on how to communicate effectively, how to respond to angry coworkers and customers, and how to confront threatening behavior.
Document the Behavior
When an employee acts inappropriately and has to be confronted about their behavior, it is important to document the incident. This documentation will not only show your commitment to zero tolerance, but it will also serve as important information if the behavior continues and the employee needs to be terminated.