why your private behaviour does (and should) matter

2014.12.1_why your private behaviour does (and should) matter

Much of the very early discussion around Jian Gomeshi’s firing from the CBC centered on whether employers have the ability and/or right to fire employees for behaviours and conduct that take place outside of the workplace. This discourse began before it was confirmed that criminal behaviour might have been involved however, it quickly became apparent that there had been red flags for some time, and warning signs about Ghomeshi’s behaviour. According to the Toronto Star, it would appear that our private lives really only matter to employers when it reaches a tipping point of adversely affecting that employer’s public image. Image and brand aside, however, I would argue that employers and organizations should care more about questionable personal behaviour, and that turning a blind eye too often can and does lead organizations to ignore red flags that have the potential to cause enormous organizational damage in the long run. It seems ridiculous to assume that an individual who behaves unethically in their personal life, is capable of turning that off on a daily basis in order to function as a trustworthy, ethical, and responsible employee within your organization. Of course, no legal expert would advise that you can fire someone for “seeming like a jerk”, but, at the end of the day, company’s should be looking to employ and retain individuals who conduct themselves with a high level of character and integrity, and should consider and individual’s personal behaviour as being a strong reflection of their professional value to the organization.

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