Do You Know How To Deal With Workplace Bullying?
Bullying isn’t something that’s confined to school playgrounds, sadly it can permeate into every area of our lives. When it comes to workplace bullying, it can be a difficult topic to tackle. You need to have a way for employees to tell you that it’s going on, as well as have policies and procedures in place to deal with any incidents.
HR News recently offered some advice to employers about how to deal with workplace bullying. The publications first piece of advice is to have a confidential helpline that your staff can call at any time to report any allegations of bullying.
You also need to make sure that your HR team are approachable and that they’ve all had the relevant training in how to deal with such allegations.
The HR team, as well as any management staff, should all know about preventing bullying in the workplace and it never hurts to refresh this training at regular intervals.
As well as preventing bullying in the first place, you need to make sure you also know how to handle any allegations, and to take them seriously. Taking a zero-tolerance approach to bullying in the workplace, and making sure that everyone in your organisation knows this, is vital.
Dealing with workplace bullying is essential for a number of reasons. The obvious point is that if you have a happier team they’re more productive and engaged, as well as the fact that you have a duty to protect your employees’ wellbeing while they’re at work.
But it’s worth noting that you could face serious legal consequences – including personal injury claims from an employee who has been bullied – if you fail to deal with allegations effectively when they’re raised.
And recent research has found that workplace bullying can have an impact on physical as well as mental health.
The NHS highlighted a study published earlier this month, which looked at data from four Nordic research projects and concluded that people who are exposed to workplace bullying or violence are at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to those who didn’t report such issues.
According to the health service, there are a number of possible reasons for this, including the increased stress people are likely to experience when they are bullied, which can trigger a range of responses, such as comfort eating or spending longer sitting at your desk to avoid people.
In addition to knowing how to deal with workplace bullying if it does arise, it’s also important to notice signs of bullying among your employees. If you can see a change in someone’s mood or behaviour and you don’t have any explanation, it could be worth taking them to one side for a talk – even if it’s nothing to do with bullying, it doesn’t hurt to lend a sympathetic ear.
FE News recently highlighted some of the things that can be considered workplace bullying that you should watch out for. They included preventing someone from getting a promotion or blocking their progression for no reason, and making threats about job security without any substance.