Bullying can occur in any workplace, even in organizations that have a friendly and inclusive company culture. Bullying comes in many forms, of which two are most common – behavioral and verbal. It can occur between a manager and subordinate or between peers unbeknownst to upper management. Bullying can result in an unengaged, underperforming staff with low morale, which can lead to turnover among other employment challenges.
There are various ways to determine whether your organization is prepared to be a bullying-free environment and to identify if anyone is a victim of bullying.
Observe your company culture to see if it is susceptible to bullying.
Make note of employee behaviors.
Are there any individuals that display aggressive behavior and engage in shouting at others, name calling, swearing and making disrespectful comments?
Are there any employees that are usually outgoing but are now withdrawn and are being isolated by peers and/or opportunities despite being high performers?
Is an employee’s work and ideas being reviewed in a belittling manner by a peer or their manager?
HR or upper management can use the following tactics to prevent and remedy workplace bullying:
Review your harassment and code of conduct policies to make sure an anti-bullying section is included
Implement confidential ways to report bullying and take allegations seriously by investigating as soon as a complaint is filed
Train managers on soft skills that allow them to supervise and meet goals and deadlines without being overbearing or disrespectful
Keep track of employees that have signs of being a bully or signs of being bullied even if there is no complaint
Encourage bystanders to come forward when they see someone else getting bullied
Add bullying prevention training to your staff harassment prevention trainings.