Bullying in the workplace is never a nice topic. You may have been the victim, had to manage the situation or been witness to this appalling behaviour. In any case bullying is unacceptable and should never happen.
But first, what is bullying?
Bullying is repeated behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates someone. To read more about bullying please read one of my previous blogs http://www.hrgurus.com.au/top-5-things-you-should-know-about-bullying
Here are the HR Gurus top 10 tips to help you tackle bullying in the workplace.
- Have a well-developed and airtight anti bullying policy. Ensure the policy defines what bullying behaviour is, the employee and employer responsibilities and how bullying will be dealt with.
- As a manager learn to identify bullying behaviour or the signs of an employee being bullied. Bullying can be direct or indirect so make sure you know the difference allowing you to intervene if needed. A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not considered to be workplace bullying however it may have the potential to escalate and should not be ignored.
- Speak to your staff. Open dialogue will help you gauge if there any areas of concern.
- Have an open door policy. Be approachable! Let your staff know you are there to help them.
- Promote a healthy work environment. Create a culture where no one is taken advantage of and everyone works as a team.
- Have a diverse workforce. By implementing a diverse workforce you lessen the possibility of bullying. Make it clear that no racist, sexist or discriminatory jokes will be laughed at or tolerated.
- Be an effective leader. Give your employees the tools/skills to have difficult conversations to address bullying behaviour.
- Follow the correct investigative process when dealing with a bullying complaint. Ensure it is fair and timely.
- Look out for your staff. Certain employees are more likely to be bullied such as casual employees, new employees, apprentices and people from minority groups.
- This brings me back to point 1. A policy is all well and good but it must be monitored, updated and maintained.
If you need help creating an anti-bullying policy, training on difficult conversations or need a bullying investigation in your workplace give HR Gurus a call on 1300 959 560 and one of our HR professionals will be able to assist.
Written by resident HR Guru Natalie Bol.