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Dealing with different scenarios at the work place may leave one being labeled as the difficult collogue or regarded as being incapable of handling the situation in a mature and professional way. Such labels make dealing with different scenarios at the work place so hard as the impact of reactions may have devastating consequences to your carrier, the carriers of the colleagues or the performance of the organization. In the scenario involving sergeant Steve, he ignored the officers who were engaging in sexually explicit jokes at the work place and went on to carry out his duty of conducting normal duty. To him, the scenario was unpleasant to the operations of the organization but he decided not to involve himself by taking matters in his own hands but report to a higher authority. That might have as well been a good response because such victims response better to higher authorities than co workers. However, some sensitive scenarios like what the sergeant was facing need to be addressed as early as possible with firmness, politeness and limit settings. His response can be termed as a better performance but not the best. He could have addressed his workmates then later report the situation to the higher authorities (Bogucki, 2008)..
The sergeants’ response was a positive contributor to the maintenance of good order in the police force as he did not leave the scenario unattended to. He did not make the scenario a public discussion by gossiping with other staff members which would be disruptive to the organization, make the scenario even more difficult to solve and also tarnish both the reputation of the three involved workmates and the department as a whole. Gossips tend to lead the focus of finding solutions to the worst parts and paint a negative picture to the victims. Such situations not only lead to embarrassment but also affect the reactions of the victims.
Though Steve reacted well to the situation before him, he still had room to do better. The initial step in dealing with inappropriate behavior is by confronting the victims. Such inappropriate behaviors are more likely to continue unless they are addressed immediately. On the other hand, it is more polite for co-workers to take in corrections from a colleague of the same level than from their boss. In the first place, the three culprits did not know whatever they were doing was inappropriate as it was out of the offices and it was after working hours. Thus it was the responsibility of Steve to make them understand that whatever they were doing was not acceptable. He was supposed to make them understand the workplace requirements and possible consequences of such behaviors. In situations where such cases seem to be getting out of hand, that is when the sergeant should take a step further by reporting to a higher authority to seek help (Piven 2000)..
To ensure good order while responding to the scenario he was facing, Steve should have approached the three colleagues personally and have private discussions with each one of them instead of addressing the three together or report the matter. People react differently when addressed on sensitive issues especially in a crowd. The two men might feel intimidated if addressed in front of a female colleague while the lady might feel embarrassed. The approach should also be a polite one lest the addressed feel they are being attacked or accused. Following the private discussion with an explanation of the impact of such actions will also make them more understanding and corporative. In his approach, Steve should also give room to listen to their side of the story so that the scenario doesn’t look like he is giving a lecture as this may make them feel guilty. The personal discussions should attempt to end up with an agreement on the supportive and positive actions. This approach will ensure that even if Steve and the three co-workers were faced with a difficult scenario, the response from all the involved parties would still maintain order at the workplace.
The Difficult Employee
Some employees take advantage of their influential roles in the organization to think they are untouchable. This makes them become defiant to the organization rules as they are aware that the organization relies on them. Such scenarios make it more difficult as the interests of the organization have to come first. Even if such employees are behaving is inappropriate, the response to such a situation should be in away that it does not worsen the situation at hand. In the Smith’s case, he is aware that he is among the most productive officers in the force and the rest of employees back his leadership abilities. As a result, he has become defiant by criticizing and being sarcastic every time new policies are enacted. Though he is regarded as a good leader, he has ended up being difficult to handle and a set back to the daily operations of the force. The impact is that the rest of the officers are ignoring the new evening agent. The step to suspend him was to the benefit of the organization even if it left him less productive. The performance of the sergeant was remarkable though he could have addressed the situation in a better way. He has to be credited for making the brave decision of suspending Mr. Smith (Brown, 2011).
The Smith’s scenario is very sensitive as it had great impacts to organization. Though the sergeants’ response of suspending him led to some unrest at the work place with some officers ignoring Mr. Smith’s replacement and also him being les productive, it was for the interest of the force that all the rules and order be observed. Smith was going against the new policies of the organization thus to serve as an example and to pass a cross a clear message that no one is above the orders and policies of the force despite their work contribution, Smith had to be sacrificed. Such a bold step though takes some time to get things back to normal, it will at the long run maintain the desirable working environment where every employee observes law and order despite his or her rank in the force.
The sergeants’ response is admirable but still if he had involved other elements; the situation could have been solved in a better way. The first consideration could have been to approach the situation by dealing with the inappropriate behavior and not the victim. The sergeant should not have assumed that Smith’s behavior was as result of negative intentions. The best approach the sergeant could have employed is the feedback approach. In this, he should have provided Smith with specific information in order to communicate to him how his behavior is affecting the whole organization before suspending him. This should be done either emotional or factual shared with the victim in a feedback meeting. Such a meeting should be conducted in such away that it should be non accusatory, non confrontational and at time when the employee is receptive to the issue at hand. The sergeant should have balanced the negative with the positive consequence of his move highlighting to Smith the impact of his behavior and performance together with the areas that need to be improved. The approach could have enabled the victim to share out the reasons behind his inappropriate behavior and what can be done in future to change his behavior. This will also give the supervisor the chance to table clearly the limits of every employee’s behavoiur.
To ensure that order is maintained while handling Smith’s inappropriate behavior, the sergeant should involve other people in making the decision and help in addressing him. By doing this, the other officers will be better placed to understand the situation at hand thus respond in a better manner than ignoring the new authority. Such an approach will also make Smith understands that the suspension was the decision of the whole organization and not an individual. With all members understanding the situation at hand, the organization will enjoy order despite the decision taken by the sergeant.