As a manager, part of your job is "enforcement" of important thing things that may not always be pleasant.
But, as a manager, perhaps a more important part of your job is deciding what's actually important enough to enforce.
Yawning is a great example of this:
- If someone is occasionally yawning quietly, it might not really be a big deal.
- If the yawns are really frequent and loud, and the team works in a close environment that is otherwise quiet and uninterrupted, it might warrant a quick side chat where you can suggest that the employee should try their best to yawn in a manner that's less distracting, or try other techniques - maybe they need to get up and go for a short walk once in a while to help keep their body moving and avoid the desire to yawn so much.
Of course, there's always gray area - but we can't give you a hard and fast rule for how to handle the gray area, that's your job. The important point, though, is this: before you discipline or correct an employee, do the following:
- Make sure the issue is significant and meaningful. Is this behavior actually causing a disruption to the work environment? Is it actually causing tangible issues?
- Make sure you're asking for something that's reasonable. "Stop yawning" is not reasonable!
- Make sure you can follow up and adjust as needed after the fact. If the yawning is causing disruptions, and the yawner is able to get things under control, but people still complain about the occasional nearly-silent yawn, then maybe the follow up discussion needs to be with the other employees, about how they need to work on focusing on their own versus being a chronic complainer.