It’s in the news every day – someone becomes the victim of workplace bullying. This is a problem that can happen at any kind of business and in any industry. There are bullies out there who never grew up and they turned into adult bullies. They terrorize their friends, family members, and co-workers. Bullies put others at risk, including customers and the company. Your job as an employer is to ensure the safety of all employees, so having a way to handle this kind of behavior is in your best interest.
As a human resource professional, how can you respond to workplace bullying and develop a policy to crack down on this kind of behavior?
Have A Clear Policy On Workplace Bullying
The very first thing that any HR department should do is to write a policy about workplace bullying that includes descriptions of this kind of behavior and how to report this to a manager if it happens. Let employees know what will happen if they bully anyone, including disciplinary actions up to and including termination and legal action.
Enforce Workplace Bullying Rules30
Unless employees are educated on workplace bullying, they may not recognize the signs of this kind of action. Have workshops to talk about workplace bullying, the damage it causes, and what to do when this happens. Provide safety measures and a code word that employees can use to escape the workplace bully and get help.
Managers may not realize that they have an employee on staff who is prone to bullying others. Instead, they may see them as “leaders” instead of damaging to their teams. Train managers about workplace bullying and violence statistics, workplace safety laws, and how to deal with a bully when a situation arises.
Stop Bullies Fast
Never, ever make the mistake of looking the other way when workplace bullying happens. Instead, promptly work with the employee’s manager to remove them from the situation, sit them down to discuss the report of their behavior, and let them know that they will be observed for the next 30 days for this behavior. Provide the employee with training about anti-bullying at work.
If The Bullying Behavior Continues…
Unfortunately, sometimes employees who bully do not “get it” and they continue to act in the same ways towards others. Document the employee’s behavior over the next few weeks, and note any complaints or observed bullying tactics. If the bullying continues, termination of employment is the next step. You must do this for the safety and well-being of your other employees and the company.
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