HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions
Employee Behaving Abnormally
If an employee starts to behave in a weird manner such as misinterpreting casual conversations with extreme thoughts that she says causes her sleepless nights, appearing paranoid over small matters, writing notes to the management ie. if I have done anything wrong, please let me know however nothing happened, following day she writes another note to the management that she should be kicked out and that she will pay compensation etc which when asked, she claims is a misunderstanding. This is really worrying but when we try to find out from her about what might be bothering her, she refuses to say much except that nothing wrong. Is there anything that can be done when such things happen as we are also worried what would she do next and keeps us on our toes whenever we have to communicate with her. It is a concern which the company is worried about too.
We cannot possibly send her for a mental assessment or do anything about it nor ask her to leave just because of that. Has anyone come across such a scenario before?
REPLIES & COMMENTS
We had a similar situation. Being an HR officer, I have also to think of all the other employees working with the employee concerned and the office environment.
I arranged a meeting with the employee and the Head of Department and told the employee to seek medical attention and get a medical report certifying that the employee is fit for employment. The employee refused. So we decided to terminate the employee's services but gave the employee an option to resign.
As the employee was an Union member we also discussed with the Union on this matter and obtained the approval of senior management before terminating the employee.
We felt the approach we adopted was right as it was affecting the office working environment. We tried our best to help the employee before making the decision to terminate the employment contract.
I did come across such cases before, be it at work or in my social circle.
Your employee is apparently sick and may suffer from schizophrenia. If this is the case, she is not aware of her own behaviours/actions & is really no fault of hers.
One suggestion is to pay her a house visit or contact her family member to come down. In order to help her, you will have to relate the incidents, her behaviours to the family member so that her family can bring her to see a Psychiatrist. It is important for the doctor to assess her mental state & determine whether she is fit to work or not.
If the doctor diagnoses that she should seek treatment & refrain from work, then you can explain to the family that it is for her own good to resign instead of the Company terminating her service.
If the doctor diagnoses that she can still continue to work but must take medication in order to control her illness, then the Company needs to decide whether to support our government’s stand to build an inclusive society or let her go since her continual employment may disrupt others or cause some disturbances to them.
At the end of the day, as HR, as long as your recommendation to your management is fair & just to both the employee & Company & made with a clear conscience, then it should be fine.