HR fails to warn bad behaviour at work

31 Dec 2012

Workers whose behaviour continually goes against their organisation’s values often don’t face punishment, and are even rewarded or promoted, according to new research from CIPD.

In the latest Employee Outlook survey, such incidents were found to have happened in the workplaces of four out of 10 respondents. Only one-third said that individuals were reprimanded for consistent rule-breaking.

Slightly more than half (52%) said their organisation’s values positively influenced their behaviour at work, while only 29% of employees said that they were fully aware of their organisation’s values.

For those who said their organisation’s values did not impact them, the top reason cited among private-sector workers was the emphasis on profit over those values. In the public sector, the most cited explanation was the belief that there was “one rule for senior managers and one rule for everyone else”.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, explained: “At the heart of an organisation’s culture has to be a set of agreed values that resonate with employees at all levels, from the board to the front-line, in order to provide a template for the behaviours and standards expected.”

He added that employers must also demonstrate that failure to act in accordance with the organisation’s defined values has real consequences.

If business leaders and HR are not prepared to make a stand and ensure that their organisational values are worth more than a passing reference, they will lose the trust of staff, warned Cheese.

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Commented by: HENRI TAN at 31 Dec 2012 04:01 PM Report this comment
Not surprised that workers ‘undesired’ behaviour that goes against their organisation’s values are not reprimanded or punished. There are two main reasons : one, HR practitioners and line managers lack the skills in handling the issues especially when facing such employees, and as such the former usually ‘closed one eye’. Two, the majority of the organizations do not have a set of values to start with. Even if they do, such values are not communicated openly to employees nor are they actively promoted.

Therefore, organization must actively establish a list of values that they will share during onboarding and also promote actively throughout the organization on a regular basis ; management and line managers must “walk the talk” by exhibiting behaviours in line with the stipulated values. Only then, business leaders and HR practitioners are in the position to punish employees who behaviours are against the organization desired values if they can confidently and proudly stand by these values. In short, to start with, organizations must have such values spelt out.

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