In a professional environment, there really is no room for bullying. In an ideal world, everyone should be capable of maintaining a level of professionalism, and treating one other with respect and fairness.
Unfortunately, this does not always pan out. A bullying personality does not dissipate as soon as high school is over, and plenty of workplaces suffer from difficult personalities.
Bullying takes many different forms; it’s not just about mocking someone’s appearance or intelligence. Withholding information from certain employees is a form of bullying, just as ignoring or silencing colleagues who provide alternative ideas is also another way push someone to a lower le vel.
As an employer, hearing about workplace bullying should alarm you – there should be no place for misbehaviour at work.
These are the tips to help you deal with the situation.
Review Current Policies
If there are no clear repercussions in place for bullying personalities, then these employees will likely feel safe to continue demonstrating this behaviour without worrying that it poses a risk to their job.
It is your job to re-evaluate these policies and guarantee that bullies don’t feel encouraged to inflict pain. You can implement a zero-tolerance policy if need be – just make sure that everyone is informed about the policy changes before you jump to enforce them.
Provide Channels of Safe Communication
Those suffering from workplace bullying may find it incredibly difficult to speak out – particularly if the other party is superior to them.
Ensure that there is always a clear, safe channel of communication for your employees to turn to if they are experiencing issues. Make sure that all meetings are kept away from others – an open-door policy is only effective when you are willing to close it, too.
Have an Unbiased Third-Party Investigate
Another reason for the existence of workplace bullies is that these issues don’t get a fair investigation. When things get out of hand, the management calls for an internal investigation, which can end up working in the employee’s favour – particularly if they have been working in the company for many years.
If you wish to eradicate this issue, it can be highly beneficial to bring in an unbiased mediator, who can assess the situation from a level playing field. Both parties can feel heard, and the root cause of the issue can be better addressed.
Training should effect a widespread change in attitude, and enable everyone to feel as though they are working in an environment that values everyone equally.
Rather than singling just a few people out, you can use this as a learning opportunity for everyone. Invite a speaker who can offer a new perspective on the issue.
Don’t forget to prepare the meeting room for the arrival of your speaker. Invest in a projector mount to make the space more conducive for a serious, company-wide conversation. Remember that this session is not being used as a threat, but as an opportunity to learn.
Bullying should never have a place within the workplace, but issues can – and do – crop up, and employers should take a proactive role against it.
If you fail to provide the support needed, then you could risk losing some of your best workers if they feel as though they can no longer trust you to create a safe, inclusive office environment.
If this issue becomes public, it would be difficult to clear your company’s image. You will lose the support of even your most loyal customers. Find a way to deal with this issue now before it gets out of hand.
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