As the list of organisational scandals grows every day, many companies understand the importance of a solid HR policy to discourage dark side behaviour and flag worrying dysfunctional traits. No organisation is immune and a single scandal can have catastrophic consequences. Even companies like Google, Airbnb, Uber and LinkedIn – widely praised for their strong company culture and policies – had to settle several lawsuits with some of their (former) employees. Although you can never fully exclude such scandals, organisations can do a lot to prevent that dark side behaviour (silently) becomes part of the company culture:

  1. Strengthen the Gate: You can train a wolf how to behave in flock of sheep, but sooner or later he may expose his basic instincts. Likewise, when stretched or challenged in some capacity, employees with one or more extreme dark side traits are very likely to derail one day. This is regardless of the effort put in to ensure that they are fully aware of the company rules, policies, norms and values. A lot of pain can be avoided when the HR function ensures that every new employee is thoroughly assessed and that potential risks for dysfunctional behaviour are known.
  2. Avoid a company strategy that is too focused on growth:Of course, every organisation is required to close a good amount of deals. But various scandals have shown that such a focus can also create a toxic culture in the business. Sales reps might maintain aggressive sales methodologies to close more deals, managers might put an unreasonable pressure on their peers to increase productivity and employees might neglect their company’s or regulatory compliance.
  3. Know what’s going on and act: Most situations escalate because the HR department notice the critical warning signs too late (or even completely neglected them) and/or didn’t take appropriate action. Make sure that you know what is going on in each office and team and don’t be afraid to make a difficult decision, which is often inevitable. Firing an influential employee might harm the company in the short term but in the long term that same employee’s counter-productive behaviour could be largely responsible for a toxic company culture, which results in a poor reputation, people leaving and a loss of business.

Do you want to know how vulnerable your organization really is for dysfunctional behaviour? Do you want to have a hands-on action plan to prevent such behaviour as much as possible?

Then please join our webinar “Reduce Risk of Counterproductive Behaviour’ or reach out to us for a specific Prevention Plan!