Five tips on how to prevent bullying in the workplace
As the nation celebrates Anti-Bullying Week, many of us instantly turn out thoughts to the school playground. But, according to a recent article published by The HR Director, bullying is all too common in the workplace too. Please read on for a quick synopsis of its advice on how to tackle the problem.
- Implement an anti-bullying policy which clearly states your zero-tolerance approach and warns that all incidents of bullying will be dealt with promptly via the company’s disciplinary procedure. List examples of what constitutes bullying behaviour to remove all room for doubt. Ensure everyone hears the message by circulating the policy and ensuring it’s signed by all staff.
- Train line managers to recognise bullying behaviour and its detrimental effects on individuals, teams and entire organisations. This will enable them to identify the red flags even when they don’t witness the behaviour first-hand. Since many victims of bullying remain silent for fear of reprisals and/or looking like a ‘tell-tale’, being able to spot the signs is essential.
- Take every complaint seriously. Always investigate reports of suspected bullying promptly and record your findings. You can usually do this within your grievance and disciplinary procedures. Be fair and consistent in your application of these procedures to safeguard employees’ trust in the process.
- Be sensitive and sympathetic to employees while investigating claims. Ensure the alleged victim knows you are treating his/her claim confidentially.
- Be consistent with your disciplinary actions. Review previous cases and apply equivalent consequences for similar situations. Again, this will boost employees’ confidence in your anti-bullying procedures.
Clearly, having to deal with allegations of workplace bullying is difficult. But following the steps above will go a long way to reducing the number of such incidents in the first place. For further reading on the matter, please visit ACAS.
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