The cure for “bad manager” behaviors that threaten employee safety and inclusion commitments!

Undoubtedly, the workplace has managers who disrupt the culture by misbehaving and creating a less than inclusive environment for subordinates. An example of bad behavior is creating a toxic work environment that threatens the safety and well-being of employees. Another example is undermining employees’ efforts for career advancement. To research of SHRM says employers can feel a billions in revenue impact due to toxic workplaces.

What if there is a commitment and focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

If the fundamentals are in place and diversity, equity and inclusion strategies are in place, it is prudent to address concerns about poor manager behavior. Here are some strategies to use.

1. Have a authentic conversation with the manager emphasizing the importance of addressing bad behavior that derails DEI commitments and ultimately tarnishes the workplace. Below are sample conversation starters to start a dialogue about missed opportunities for inclusive leadership. Gather documents to demonstrate how poor manager performance is detrimental to the workplace. This preparation includes creating space for authentic conversations to take place. Better to give employees the opportunity to be heard without having to defend the manager/organization.

a. Manager, I would like to have a conversation with you about the feedback I received from your team about the impact on [organization] brand.

b. Manager, I’d like to spend some time with you to think about how we can improve manager accountability in the [organization]

vs. Manager, I’d like to have a conversation about managing and leading your team.

2. Develop a plan to transform bad behavior with accountability structures. A good application of liability includes termination if necessary. An unfavorable approach is to ignore or avoid bad behavior from managers. Be clear that this is not an appropriate response strategy. The message sent is that bad behavior trumps employee well-being. When organizations take this approach, employees inevitably leave the workplace and, in some cases, take legal action.

3. Review your organization’s DEI strategy and human resources policies and practices to see where the gaps are. Be sure to redouble your efforts to review the organization’s approach to accountability. Answer the following questions:

a. How will I deal with bad behavior from senior leaders? How will I handle managers who stray from the inclusion path?

b. How will the accountability approach be communicated to employees?

vs. Does the approach include a provision for dealing with retaliation from the leader?

D. How are identified allies coming forward to support inclusion challenges?

What if there is no commitment and focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

An organization that is behind the ballgame with little or no effort to engage in culture transformation will feel the pangs of employee attrition. Additionally, the employer brand will also suffer as news of the culture is shared among potential employees.

Even if an organization does not have a DEI strategy, it should have measures to address and enforce accountability for poor management and leadership behavior.

The bottom line is that employers are responsible for workplace safety. Eradicating destructive behaviors will ensure thriving cultures in organizations and better business revenue results.