Managing and Addressing Employee Misconduct at your Supermarket

As supermarket businesses grow, so do the chances of employee misconduct cases. There are many different personalities, backgrounds, work habits, and values, and they may not always align with one another.

Managing employee behaviour and ensuring your workplace is safe is one of the many responsibilities of an employer, and promptly addressing these situations is essential. It reflects your values as a leader and impacts the company’s mission.

To protect your employees, promote teamwork, and avoid litigation, let’s explore what qualifies as misconduct and the best practices for addressing it.

What Is Misconduct in the Workplace?

Workplace misconduct falls into two categories: general underperformance and severe misconduct. While general underperformance is a problem for employers, serious misconduct puts everyone in the workplace at imminent risk and can be a reason for immediate disciplinary action or termination.

Examples of Underperformance

  • Not carrying out work to the required standard or not doing their job at all
  • Not following policies, rules, or procedures
  • Unacceptable behaviour at work (telling inappropriate or offensive jokes)
  • Disruptive or damaging behaviour at work (constantly speaking negatively about the business)

Examples of Serious Misconduct

  • Causing serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of another person(s)
  • Deliberate behaviour that’s inconsistent with continuing their employment
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Physical, verbal, emotional, sexual assault, or harassment
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work
  • Deliberate property damage

Addressing and Managing Misconduct

Disciplinary actions for misconduct depend on the severity of the case and whether the employee has a history of inappropriate behaviour. After the first incident, the employer may talk to the employee about his/her behavior or issue a verbal warning. After the second offence, the employer may issue a warning letter or suspend the employee. If the problem continues, the employer may terminate the employee’s contract.

In a serious case, immediate dismissal (and possible legal action) can be carried out at the employer’s discretion.


To prevent employee misconduct, a company may screen potential candidates before hiring them. If a background check shows that the candidate has a history of legal issues, it can raise concerns. Employers may also contact a potential candidate’s previous employers to determine any cases or suspicions of misconduct in past jobs.

For current employees, it’s recommended that workplace safety policies and procedures are put in place (if they aren’t already) and have everyone sign each one. This way, your employees know upfront what qualifies as misconduct while eliminating the possibility of claiming they weren’t aware of what is unacceptable.

Let IndiHub Help

If you’re looking for a third party to consult about how you can manage misconduct and keep your workplace safe, IndiHub is the answer. We help supermarket owners develop and implement policies and provide members with a variety of Warning Letter Templates that’ll guide you in handling cases and producing a positive outcome with minimal impact or disruption.

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