As the list of organizational scandals grows every day, many companies understand the importance of a solid HR policy to discourage dark side behavior and flag worrying dysfunctional traits. No organization 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, organizations can do a lot to prevent that dark side behavior (silently) becomes part of the company culture:
- Strengthen the Gate: You can train a wolf how to behave in the 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 behavior are known.
- Avoid a company strategy that is too focused on growth: Of course, every organization 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 unreasonable pressure on their peers to increase productivity and employees might neglect their company’s or regulatory compliance.
- Know what’s going on and act: Most situations escalate because the HR department notices 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 behavior 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 behavior? Do you want to have a hands-on action plan to prevent such behavior as much as possible?
Then please join our webinar “Reduce Risk of Counterproductive Behaviour’ or reach out to us for a specific Prevention Plan!