“Workplace Behaviour is the behaviour one uses in employment and is normally more formal than other types of human behaviour. This varies from profession to profession, as some are far more casual than others. For example, a computer programmer would usually have far more leeway in their work than a lawyer.” Wikipedia

Behaviours are the actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, systems or artificial entities in conjunction with themselves or their environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment.

As humans, we all have different behaviours, though we all strive to make sure we have good behaviours and not exhibit behaviours not fit for a responsible human being. 

We have ways we behave at home, among friends, among family, at social gatherings, religious centres and so on. The way we behave in different places might not be very different from each other but our behaviour sends messages about who we are and even some implicit information that we might not share with others. For example, someone that keeps to himself or herself in front of people might be introverted in nature.

Workplace Behaviour

How we behave also extends to our workplaces. This shows that every workplace has its own method of behaviour that fits that certain occupation and also ensures optimum performance. Workplace behaviours might include: how to greet a client, how to dress, usage of language and so many more.

The quality of an employer’s or employee’s behaviour goes a long way in determining the progress, success and longevity of the business. There are also generally acceptable behaviours for every employer and employee.

Examples of generally acceptable behaviours include exceptional communication skill with fellow workers and clients; being one step ahead instead of behind; being trustworthy, accountable and reliable; being a good listener and observer; having good energy and so on. 

As earlier stated, good Workplace Behaviours are germane to the success of every business, therefore the need to understand and manage them.

In every workplace, every staff member needs to be aware of the behaviours that are okay and those that are not, and why. Then, leaders and managers need to provide support for them in the process.

Leaders need to make sure they put everything in place to facilitate the development of the appropriate behaviours and the elimination of others.

What makes it tricky in a professional environment is that there are more than two parents and a child to take into account. There is often a complex level of hierarchy and divisions, groups and teams that interact in a variety of forms.

One disclaimer is that managing behaviours is not about controlling and monitoring how every employee behaves at every point in time but about putting things in place to ensure that every employee is encouraged to adopt the appropriate behaviours and drop the bad ones.

There are steps that leaders and managers can take to ensure that every employee behaves in the appropriate and acceptable way. This include:

1. Being Clear On The Workplace Behaviour You Want To See and Those You Don’t Want To See.

This may sound cliche, but if you are not clear on the behaviours you need for success – those you want to see adopted by employees – you won’t be able to manage them.

You need to think about what you are trying to achieve and define the behaviours that will enable you to get there. The next step is to clearly communicate what you expect people to do and not to do. The best is to focus on a few behaviours at a time (say 3 or 4) to avoid confusion. Remember, we cannot change more than 2 or 3 behaviours at a time.

Examples include: sharing information, speaking up, challenging each other, actively listening, keeping your promises, or bringing the voice of the customer into the conversation.

2. Encourage Good and Discourage Bad Behaviour

Encouraging behaviour is about letting people know when they are doing the right thing and recognising them for it. A number of tools and techniques are at your disposal, from thanking someone for displaying the right behaviour (When was the last time you did that?) to publicly praising them, or using the organisational performance management and reward systems in place. Do you promote people based on outcomes or on behaviour, or both?

Similarly, you can discourage the behaviour by calling on someone the moment you see them doing something that is not okay, or by developing processes that prevent people from taking the wrong path. The worst thing you could do is to tolerate the wrong behaviours. 

Workplace Behaviour

3. Be A Role Model

Being a role model is about influencing others in a positive way. Leaders who are aware of the shadow they cast will know that it is not what they say that matters, but what they do. The first thing a leader should do if they want to ensure staff behave appropriately is to do exactly that. There is no point asking employees to adopt a set of behaviours if you, as a leader, are not ready to adopt them first.

4. Think Twice About How You Make Decisions

Every leader and manager should be aware of the impact their decisions have on employees. It is not so much the decision that is made than the way it is made that can influence others. Staff will interpret decisions made in a way that makes sense to them, and this may differ from what leaders intended.

Be aware that decisions – or the way we make them – often reflect what we value. Your people will conform to what they see value in the workplace. If you have unintentionally sent a certain message when making a decision, people will start behaving in accordance with the message received. So, before you make your next decision, take a second or two to put yourself in the shoes of the people around you, and see the world as they see it. 

5. Create Great Habits

Research shows that up to 70% of what we do in organisations is just habits. This means that it is critical to identify them, to assess whether they are aligned or not with your target behaviours, and to create new powerful habits.

Habits follow a loop pattern with a trigger, followed by the behaviour (also called routine), and a reward. You need to identify all three elements to build a powerful habit. Without reward, the habit will not stick and without a trigger, it will not start.


You can also check out the updated business tips page for amazing business tips and if you are also thinking of starting a business you can check out the business ideas page for business ideas in agriculture, trading and so on.