An employee who complains, argues, or gossips excessively in the workplace can be disruptive to a company's environment. Oftentimes, such negativity translates to poor job performance and can also lead to the spread of low morale in the company. Many employers, in an effort to deal with attitude problems in the workplace, establish a standard of conduct policy to ensure employees behave and act responsibly. Oftentimes, this written policy outlines expected behavior, possible disciplinary actions for violating the policy, and counseling options. Typically, employees who exhibit a bad attitude at work can expect to receive a verbal warning first then a written reprimand. If negative behavior persists, he or she may receive suspension without pay or even discharge. Some companies may choose to send problem employees to counseling provided through an employee assistance program. Others may try a coaching approach, whereby the employee is advised on how to modify work habits and improve job performance. For repeat offenders, employers may use progressive discipline that includes verbal and written warnings, counseling, performance coaching, and termination. Whatever disciplinary approach is taken with problem employees, communication is the key. Employers should express their concerns clearly to employees as soon as the behavior problem begins. It may be necessary to ask the employee what can be done to help him or her overcome a negative perspective at work. Both sides should then try to reach a reasonable understanding of what changes are required.
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