How To Approach Behavior Change In Employees
Have you ever had to address one of your employees about behaviors or attitudes that did not align with the culture of your office or company? Did you ever have that awkward knot in the middle of your stomach when you had to address them about the issue (or other issues), especially if you’ve already addressed them about it on previous occasions? Well, that was me at one point in my career… Truth is, no one EVER likes to here the proverbial, gut wrenching phrase, “step into my office, please.”. And if you were like me having difficulty, or you have that awkward knot piercing the back of your stomach, here are a few tips on how to approach behavior change in employees:

  • Make note of the behavior occurrence – it’s important to make note of the behavior so that you have record of when it occurred, and to help recall the actual incident for the employee’s recollection. Also, it helps to show that you are not arbitrarily making things up. 
  • Find the correct time to address – proper timing is very important when addressing behavior mod issues. Addressing it at the right time would be the difference between keeping the trust you’ve built or losing the respect that you’ve established. 
  • Meet with them one-on-one – this is out of courtesy and respect. The goal is not to shame them but get them to change the behavior in question.
  • “Sandwich” the points – once you’ve found the proper time to address and you have them in a one-on-one, start your conversation with things they do right, then begin to discuss the behaviors that need to be corrected. Get their feedback on the behaviors, see if they see what you see, and if they feel the behavior is in error. Give behavior modification suggestions and get their agreement to change the behavior. Close the conversation by reviewing and giving positive affirmations on the things they do well.
  • Make note that the behavior was addressed – its always best to keep on file that you discussed the behavior(s) with the employee(s) in the event it does not change, or it escalates into further disciplinary action. Also, it helps when you are writing reviews.

Hope these tips help you in your leadership journey!

Image via http://www.livestrong.com



  1. Jay Colby · May 2, 2016

    Great tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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