Skip to main content

Workplace Misconduct

For Employers

Addressing workplace misconduct isn’t just about taking disciplinary measures. It’s about weaving together a safe, happy working environment that nurtures positivity and growth. This can be achieved by fostering open communication, implementing clear and equitable terms, and establishing company policies that reflect your values. In this article, we’ll guide you through the labyrinth of best practices to prevent and manage workplace misconduct in British Columbia.

Probationary Period in BC

In British Columbia, the probationary period is a critical phase in the employment lifecycle. It serves as a trial period where both the employer and the employee can assess their compatibility. For employers, it’s an opportunity to evaluate the performance, behavior, and overall fit of new hires. For employees, it’s a chance to understand the company’s culture, their role and the tolerance policy. This mutual evaluation process can help prevent potential issues that might lead to misconduct down the line.

Evaluate at 30-60-90 Days

In British Columbia, the first three months of employment are often considered probationary. This period presents a golden opportunity for employers to assess an employee’s compatibility and aptitude for their role. To optimize the value of this time, include a term in the employment agreement granting you the right to evaluate new candidates during this probationary period.

Regular check-ins at intervals of 30, 60, and 90 days are instrumental in ensuring alignment between your expectations and the employee’s performance. These meetings should be more than one-sided lectures; they should be open discussions about performance milestones, future growth trajectories, and potential opportunities for advancement within the company.

A 2-sided Affair

It’s worth noting that the probationary period is also a time for employees to evaluate whether your company and its culture align with their aspirations and values. By maintaining open communication channels and providing feedback in both directions, you can nurture a positive working relationship that benefits both parties.

How to Prevent Misconduct in the Workplace

Preventing misconduct in the workplace requires a proactive and comprehensive approach. It’s about creating an environment that discourages inappropriate behavior and promotes respect, integrity, and professionalism. It’s about setting clear expectations, maintaining open communication, and ensuring fair and consistent enforcement of rules and policies.

Have an Open Dialogue

One of the key ingredients in preventing workplace misconduct is cultivating an environment where open dialogue thrives. Employees should feel at ease expressing their concerns and discussing any issues they encounter. Regular team meetings and anonymous feedback systems can serve as catalysts for these conversations, ensuring that all employees feel acknowledged and valued.

This open communication can promote transparency and trust, which are key to preventing misconduct. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to respect the company’s rules and less likely to engage in misconduct.

Act Quickly and Firmly

Despite all preventive measures, if misconduct does occur, it’s crucial for employers to act quickly and firmly. Inaction isn’t a wise strategy and can snowball into larger problems down the road. Hold employees accountable for their actions and ensure they comprehend the expectations of their role and the terms of their employment agreement.

Ongoing Conduct Management and Processes Audit

Establishing effective workplace policies and procedures is merely the opening act in preventing misconduct. It’s vital to regularly review and update these policies to guarantee they remain relevant and effective in addressing potential issues. 

These audits can help identify any gaps or weaknesses in the system that might allow misconduct to occur. Engaging in active conduct management and seeking advice, when necessary, can help you maintain a positive and productive working environment.

Misconduct in the Workplace Examples

Understanding what constitutes misconduct is the first step in preventing it. Here are some common examples of workplace misconduct:

Constantly Showing Up Late

While occasional tardiness can be overlooked, consistently showing up late is a form of misconduct. It disrupts schedules, affects productivity, and is unfair to other employees who arrive on time.

Alcohol and/or Drug use at Work

The use of alcohol or drugs at work is not just a serious workplace offence, it could be a sign of larger personal issues.  It can lead to impaired judgement, decreased productivity, and can pose a safety risk to the individual and others.

Misuse of Social Media

Social media use can be a very slippery slope. On one hand, employees should have the right to express themselves on social platforms. On the other hand, you as an employer have an image to uphold. Sharing confidential information, posting inappropriate content, or using it excessively during work hours can be considered misconduct.

Harassment of Employees

Harassment, whether verbal, physical, or online, is a serious form of misconduct in British Columbia. It creates a hostile work environment and can lead to significant emotional distress for the victim. As the employer, you must consistently emphasize what constitutes harassment. You want to protect other employees and create a positive working environment.

Poor Performance

While poor performance can sometimes be due to factors outside an employee’s control, consistent underperformance without a valid reason can be considered misconduct. It can affect the overall productivity and morale of the team.

Employers need to clearly outline the responsibilities of new hires. If anything changes, employees must be informed if there is any changes in their current role. It’s not in anyone’s interest to have an employee underperform. This is why communication and clear terms are key.

In conclusion, preventing and managing workplace misconduct in British Columbia calls for a proactive approach from employers. By fostering open communication, acting decisively when issues arise, and maintaining clear and fair policies, you can create a safe and happy working environment for all employees. Ascent Employment Law is here to help you navigate the intricacies of employment law and ensure your business remains compliant with provincial regulations.

What is a wrongful dismissal?

The right team, dedicated to your success