Recently, Barbara Mayhew commented in a blog about the P.E.I. WCB ruling that awarded benefits to a widow after her husband’s death was linked to workplace bullying and harassment.
Unfortunately, bullying is not relegated to the schoolyard. Many workers are victims of bullying by their bosses or co-workers. Research shows that people who feel insecure about their own abilities or have been bullied themselves are most likely to engage in bullying.
Barbara points out that most people are familiar with the overt bully – the one who publicly berates employees. But bullying in the workplace is often more covert. It can also be non-verbal, psychological, and involve subtle humiliation resulting in emotional breakdowns and destroyed careers.
Here are some suggestions for your company to reduce workplace bullying:
- Start at the top: Senior management must make it clear that bullying isn’t acceptable.
- Incorporate personal assessments into the hiring process. No matter how great a resume may look, avoid hiring those who are prone to aggressive behaviors.
- Review every claim: Do not assume a bullying complaint is just a personality conflict between two people who should sort it out between themselves.
- Proceed with caution: Take all allegations seriously, but don’t assume they’re all true.
- Be diligent: Interview others (privately) who may have witnessed the activity.
My question for managers this week:
“What practices does your organization have to eliminate all forms of bullying?”
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