3 Surefire Ways to Fight Workplace Bullying Head-On

bullyingHeads up! The penalties for letting the behavior slide in favor of pursuing other corporate goals can cost your firm plenty.

If an employee claims psychological distress due to unfair or abusive treatment on the job, your firm is subject to workers’ compensation claims and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act. That’s a hefty price to pay for possibly putting bad behavior on the back burner.

To help you steer clear of those troubles, here are a few ways to address bullying head-on says Judith Munson of Inside the Workplace:

1. Invite employees to be vigilant in reporting instances of workplace bullying they experience or witness.

2. Educate employees on just what bullying is and why it can be so harmful to the health and wellness of fellow employees and by extension harmful for the future of your business. Give them key examples of bullying such as:

a supervisor continually bad-mouthing the work quality of a subordinate in the presence of other workers or loudly in meetings.
one employee insulting another’s clothing, hair style or shoes, or
a subordinate starting a smear campaign against a supervisor.

3. Document instances of bullying and advise employees to do so as well. Have them record the date, time and situation. When they keep a log they’ll have facts to back up what can sometimes be a judgement call in terms of what is and isn’t bullying. This also makes your job easier in possibly getting corroboration from others within your organization as to what exactly is going on.

The key here is to create a culture of tolerance, acceptance and focus on the overall mission and vision of your company. We’re not saying everyone will “play nicely” but at least they’ll know the rules and to keep it clean while in the workplace.

Source: Inside the Workplace 09/13/2013

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