The Complete Guide to Reporting Unprofessional Behavior At Work

HR Complaints The Complete Guide to Reporting Unprofessional Behavior At Work

The Complete Guide to Reporting Unprofessional Behavior

Unprofessional behavior is defined as inappropriate conduct, appearance, and ethics in the workplace. It can range from poor hygiene practices to discrimination and harassment. 

Although 85% of employees know how to report unprofessional behavior, only 37% file formal complaints with Human Resources due to fear of potential retaliation and confrontation.     

If you’ve been witnessing unprofessional behavior, remember that the earlier you address it, the better for you and your organization. In this article, we will discuss examples of unprofessional behavior and the best ways to address them.  


Top 5 Examples of Unprofessional Behavior 

  • Discrimination and Harassment. It is unprofessional and unlawful to discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, race, sexual orientation, criminal record, and more. In the workplace, casual discrimination is more common than most people think. Examples include discriminatory comments disguised as jokes and social exclusion on the basis of race.  
  • Confidentiality Breaches. This involves disclosing your company’s proprietary information without consent. If you’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement, it is illegal for you to share your company’s confidential information. 
  • Theft. Whether it is your coworker’s lunch or office supplies, stealing at work constitutes unprofessional behavior that may incur legal consequences. 
  • Gossiping. According to Harvard Business Review, 96% of employees admit that they gossip in the workplace. However, generating rumors can create a toxic work environment, undermine productivity, team morale, and trust. 
  • Poor Hygiene. This can range from body odor, dirty clothes to greasy hair. Such poor hygiene practices can damage your reputation at work. If you are struggling with a smelly coworker, consider filing an anonymous complaint to avoid confrontation. 

Why Does Unprofessional Behavior Arise and Persist?  

Here are the top three reasons why misconduct in the workplace arises and persists. 

  • No code of ethics. The code of ethics should establish the rules and set the values for an organization. Employers should make sure all employees are aware of the company’s code of conduct as well as the consequences for failure to comply.
  • Fear of reprisal. Employees may fear the ramifications of reporting unprofessional behavior, particularly, if the perpetrator is their boss
  • Impact of peer influence. Research shows that negative peer pressure can increase unprofessional behavior in the workplace. This applies to theft, gossiping, drug abuse, and more.  

How to Address Unprofessional Behavior? 

The table below outlines the steps you can take to address unprofessional behavior in the workplace. 

 

Steps Explanation
Document everything. You must take notes and have verifiable recordings of the incident if possible. It also helps if you have witness accounts of the events. This will help build a strong case. 
Submit an employee complaint form to your manager. You should take the issue to your direct superior in cases where he/she isn’t the perpetrator of the issue. 
File a formal complaint with Human Resources. If the perpetrator of misconduct refuses to comply, you can file a formal complaint with your HR department. This is also recommended if you want to avoid direct confrontation. 

 

Report Unprofessional Behavior Anonymously Through DoNotPay!

DoNotPay makes it easy to report unprofessional behavior at work – here’s what you have to do:

  1. Open the Anonymous HR Complaints product on DoNotPay.
  2. Fill in your employer’s name and HR department mailing address.
  3. Explain clearly the issues that you are experiencing and how you want them resolved.

That’s it! DoNotPay does the rest and delivers your complaint directly to your company’s HR department! 

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Aside from helping you report unprofessional behavior at work, DoNotPay supports anyone who feels small and helpless in front of big corporations, confusing administration, or downright criminals.

We can help you get a refund even when companies won’t budge, stop email and text message scams, protect your work from copyright infringement, save yourself from stalking and harassment, or even take individuals or companies to small claims court!