How to have difficult conversations with your employees about unprofessional appearance or behavior

How to have difficult conversations with your employees about unprofessional appearance or behavior

[Video Script] The good news is you can take care of all of them. It’s micromanagement yes and it’s hard work yes but you can do it. The bad news unfortunately you also have to take care of your team members and you are also responsible that they are aware that this is important. Next to the uniform, for example, they wear. And for any reason it seems to be really difficult for leaders to talk with their team members about those topics because we always think it’s something personal. We enter their private–yes we are in their life. We talk about their body odor. But to tell you the truth that’s exactly what your company expects from you. It’s not HR that has to talk with them about that. It’s not my crew, it’s not your boss, it’s not your colleague. The only person who has to address those issues is you. And since you are in a transition right now, you will have a lot of those conversations ahead.

I need two volunteers please. Just raise your arm if you want to be a volunteer. Otherwise I’m going to pick Troy again.

Volunteer: Fine I’ll just do it myself!

Yes! Good job! Perfect! One of the ladies please. Come, here. First of all I’m going to give you two mics. Don’t put them on here because I have to share a little secret. This is your mic. But I’m going to give you a road map now that might make those conversations a little bit easier for you. This is very important because this is your major role in the future. And I encourage you, you might take a few notes because you’re going through that process, all of you, in just a few minutes.

The first thing, whatever problem you have to handle, starting with today going out there, first I always want you to think how could I have prevented it? How could I have prevented that issue? Might be something like if you have an issue in your department, dirty shoes, you can easily prevent that. Buy a shoe shining machine for your department. Not with your personal money but I promise you, if you go back to your organization and say I have this shoe issue, the first thing they are going to do is to help you prevent that issue. Another way for you to prevent it is to lead by example. They always look at you. If the worst case scenario for you is that you’re going through a conversation like that about bad breath, the other person tells you, “Yes, but you have body odor so what are we talking about?” You have to lead by example 24/7. If you go into the conversation and say, “I found that Facebook post you posted publicly [music] included” and they come back and say, “Yes, but I follow you on Twitter and you said this and that”, worst case scenario. Lead by example.

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Sylvie di Giusto, People Packaging is what I do…

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