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What happened next? Dealing with smelly staff…continued. By Sarah Fletcher


Which sources of information did you find the most useful?
The differing viewpoints which members gave allowed us to make a balanced decision.

What would you have done differently with hindsight?
Nothing, I think we handled it pretty well.

Was the outcome satisfactory for all parties?
So far so good – it seems to have made a vast improvement so far, and we have had a good attitude to go with it.

Are there any other learning points?
Make sure you understand all the information before leaping in with a disciplinary – this would have demotivated the employee. We need to follow through with the disciplinary immediately if things slide (if they do).

How to deal with this problem – advice offered by members:

  • Nik Kellingley tells Sally to “take action today and help them understand the problem and the effect of it”.
  • Cathy Pinnock advises “straight talking” – if he doesn’t clean up his act (literally), disciplinary action should be initiated.
  • Chris Hynd thinks disciplinary action will provide a “wake up” to the smelly employee, and this will prevent further crimes against cleanliness.
  • Amanda Knight suggests the body odour reveals low self esteem – how about emotional intelligence coaching?
  • Peter Stanway reminds Sally that this is the responsibility of the line manager.
  • Trevor Durritt recommends considering the personal reasons why this employee may be as stinky as a skunk – he knew a worker who gave his salary to his father, so could not afford hygiene products. Somebody lend that man a fiver!

Other items in the What Happened Next series

Related Any Answers posts:

Have you suffered a similar experience? Please post your comments about this member’s problem using the form below.

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