Mental Health In Workplace

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eve1974 | 09:55 Wed 21st Apr 2021 | Jobs & Education
6 Answers
I work for a very small company (7 employees).

I’d like advice how to approach dealing with a colleague who is being very disrespectful / disruptive within work.

This colleague has know depression / anxiety issues (he was open about this at the interview).

He needs to be taken to task about his poor attitude to others however..... we need to protect ourselves if he should decide to complain that he’s been singled out just because of his mental health.

Whilst I DO get that anxiety and depression affects many there can also be some people who “use” this as an excuse to behave badly towards others.

How do we approach this. To protect ourselves from
Accusations and to encourage him to perform better and treat colleagues better

As a small company we have no HR team


(I’ve struggled with depression since my teens and am medicated for it so I KNOW depression is real but in short this guy is acting like a spoilt child every time something doesn’t go his way


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What sort of behaviour and attitude is he exhibiting? How long has he been working for the company?

I suggest you send every employee a code of conduct that they all must sign. There are many examples on the internet. Perhaps have a meeting beforehand to discuss it and the reasons why it is being implemented - a happy and safe workplace is more productive.
Make sure it refers to the grievance procedure that you should have in place and everyone is aware of.
Tell them that the stresses and strains of Covid makes it all the more important that the workplace is happy for everyone.

It sounds as if this person's behaviour has less to do with his depression and more to do with his personality. If he is well enough to work, in spite of his mental health issues, he is well enough to recognise the need to treat his colleagues with respect. As you rightly say, mental health problems do not give anyone the right to impose disrespectful behaviour on others. I think Barry's suggestion is the perfect one. Drawing up a code of conduct will bring the issue into the forefront of discussion and without pointing the finger at anyone will hopefully show this person that his behaviour is unacceptable. If in spite of that he continues to behave in an obnoxious way, the code of conduct has been breached and action can then be taken.
you say "colleague" are you this person's manager?
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Barry and ringlet great helpful answers ty!

Woof - not his manager. There is NO manager here (believe it or not!). We are employed in a (wealthy) private household. The employer doesn’t ever wish to get involved in the nitty gritty so we are effectively left to “manage” ourselves. Hardly an ideal scenario when something like this arises.

However it is left to
Myself and the office manager to sort out these issues.

We are the 2 “admin” people whilst the other 5 staff work in the grounds / house

It is a small team and this individual is sowing discontent.
A chat round the back of the bikesheds could sort it all out but that sort of thing no longer gets traction with generation whine.

Tell them to shape up or *** off. Life's too short.
I agree with ringlet, it doesn't so much sound like symptoms of depression and anxiety, but a bit of an awkward character. You've been put in a bit of a difficult position, if you are all managing each other, really.
If you don't already, it might be worth having regular meetings between you all, so everyone gets a chance to say anything bothering them, without singling him out. It might be some simple underlying reason, such as he (rightly or wrongly) feels he gets the "worst" jobs or something...
Also, make a record of anything he refuses to do or causes problems with, so if you have to bring it up with him, you have some proper facts you can show him.
If it really is just attitude, you can only really befriend him and see if you can work out if there is anything particular that does need changing. Communication really.

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