No one would mind working in an environment that is optimum for the performance of tasks. Bullying at the workplace has received a lot of attention in the recent years. The consequences of working in a place where there is bullying are far reaching and could range from depression to poor work performance to very bad relations.
In this article we share a few tips on how to create a workplace that is free from bullying.
1. It starts from the top
The top management has to be at the heart of everything. The chief executive officer has to lead the pack by doing all that is within his power to ensure that a culture that is against bullying is in place. If the top team is able to do so, then all other employees will most probably follow suit. The zeal displayed by the management trickles down to employees. The management has to show its will towards the implementation of policies relating to bullying at work.
2. Maintain a clear anti-bullying policy
The first line defense against bullying is a policy that is keen on details. It should clearly outline what constitutes bullying, and if possible, day to day examples should be listed. It should also highlight the procedures that have to be followed in dealing with bullying. It has to be quite clear on who employees who have been bullied report to. It should also state the consequences of bullying, be it suspension, termination of contract or being put on probation. The policies should act as guidelines for dealing with people who violate the set rules. The policy should periodically be evaluated.
3. Train employees as well as the management
Some behaviors are learnt. It is crucial that all those involved are trained on how to avoid bullying. New hires have to be trained in such a manner that they maintain a culture that does not promote bullying. Employees and managers have to understand that they have a role to play in ensuring that there is no bullying at the workplace. The training should also focus on other aspects of relations that promote a good working environment.
4. Deal with grievances as they come
It does not make much sense to pile grievances before addressing them. It is said that justice delayed is justice denied. As such, all grievances must be dealt with as soon as they arise. Proper and thorough investigations have to be carried out before arriving at the verdict. The accused party has to be notified in writing and all documentation needs to be done in a formal way and in writing. The anti-bullying policy has to be considered throughout the process and the disciplinary procedures laid out in the policy have to be upheld.
5. Be consistent
It would be unrealistic for me to say that one can create an anti-bullying culture overnight. It surely takes time, and consistency is an aspect that has to be emphasized. It is from standing firm time and again that the change you desire eventually takes shape. No lapses should be allowed. Anti-bullying policies have to be upheld consistently and with no exceptions.
Christian Harrison and www.breathehr.com have teamed up to help deal with bullying in the workplace. Christian works as a motivational speaker and enjoys, water skiing, snowboarding and a relaxed game of tennis.