Disruptive Behavior and Its Effects in the Workplace

Posted: August 13th, 2013












Physicians describe disruptive behavior as antisocial mannerisms where one becomes uncooperative making other people uncomfortable. When assessing whether or not behavior is  disruptive, both immediate and future practical consequences of the conduct are taken into consideration, as well as if it interferes with part or whole activities at the workplace. Such behavior varies and includes unsolicited attempts at having conversations about controversial topics, violence, and speaking louder than necessary. The causes of disruptive behavior vary as much as the examples of such behavior. They can be either external like family problems or internal to the organization such as work related stress that an individual cannot cope with. Whichever the case, it is a matter of concern which organizations should deal with by encompassing it in their mental health policy implementation program.

From the readings, there is a lot to learn about the causes of disruptive behavior. One such cause stems from a life stressor in the form of family problems (Kahn et al. 2003, 34-65). This is an issue personal to the employee but failure to manage it ultimately leads to disruptive behavior. An example is the case of an employee who is stressed from his or her issues at home and carries these problems to the workplace. As aforementioned, their failure to seek help for the problem causes mental or psychological distress, which the worker cannot cope with. Therefore, disruptive behavior can be a manifestation of underlying issues that have gone unresolved such as family problems. This behavior is often uncalled for and is one of the organizational consequences of unresolved family problems.

Other external factors that negatively affect individuals at the workplace include drug and alcohol abuse and dependence and the employees’ personality. It is obviously improper to practice substance abuse at the workplace due to its drastic effects. Drugs abused vary from the ones that are legally obtained to the illegal ones. Most effects of drugs are negative, the worst being addiction, which is a culmination of frequent abuse. Such effects include hallucination, fatigue, aggressive tendencies, and poor personal hygiene. Alcohol also shares the same effects with the addition of extravagance, which causes stress from financial problems. A lot can be said about the effects of these two drugs especially when an employee becomes dependent, but the point of concern in this case is their impact on mental health.

Additionally, there are work related problems caused by psychological factors, which can also result in disruptive behavior. For instance, stress arising from pressure at work can become unbearable and prompt one to behave in a manner considered disturbing. The implications of these psychiatric problems, which go untreated, are severe as they may affect the overall productivity of employees at the workplace. All possible causes of disruptive behavior at the workplace should be analyzed and a solution for them developed to cure the menace that is their effect. Workers should be responsible for the actions that lead them to behave in certain ways. For instance, abstinence from drugs and alcohol or controlling their consumption is essential if they want to maintain good mental health (Longo 2010, 2). As a manager, it is important to always look out for any signs of substance abuse in order to provide time to deal with the problems before they get out of hand.

Disruptive behavior being a sign of poor mental health can manifest itself at the workplace through emotional crises. In such cases, employees tend to display extreme emotions such as getting angry, ecstatic or very moody. Through these emotions, they manage to distract the attention of other employees who turn their focus to them. This can take some time depending on the kind of emotional outburst or display. For instance, an employee under the influence of alcohol can start singing or shouting due to emotions of euphoria for unknown reasons. Other workers immediately turn to witness the spectacle and leave their work pending. This is an example of how work in an organization can be stalled due to an emotional crisis by one of its employees whose mental disposition has been altered from substance abuse. Violence can also be an example of disruptive behavior. In most cases, this is a clear indicator of an underlying psychological disorder. The person’s mental health should be evaluated to prevent future complications. This is caused by many reasons among them substance abuse or failure to cope with other life stressors.

Disruptive behavior is a reflection of an employee’s poor mental health. Organizations through their administrators are tasked with ensuring and enhancing employee’s welfare, which influences their productivity. Mental health is part of welfare and should, therefore, be upheld. I have learnt that mental health policies are part of the way forward in promoting good mental health among employees. Managers can assist with their implementation by being mindful of employees’ general behavior and looking out for any signs of a problem. This is especially helpful because of their direct interaction with the workers. The management of any organization plays a central role in the implementation of mental health policies and the readings from the book confirm this making an emphasis on their participation in order to increase productivity at the workplace (Schmidt 2010, 299).








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