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Tackling workplace bullying

Tackling workplace bullying - Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK
 
Often, bullying in the workplace is not easy to recognise or control, with the boundary between high pressure motivation and intimidation hard to gauge for some. It is crucial that organisations take the necessary steps to further understand and confront this issue so that employee relations and company productivity is not damaged. Please find below some simple advice on how to identify, handle and prevent bullying in the workplace:
 
Zero toleranceProvide a clear written policy of what constitutes workplace bullying and what the consequences will be for bullying behaviour. Make sure all employees are aware of the policy and have a reminder periodically.
 
CommunicationProvide clear, confidential and discreet channels for reporting bullying, and ensure there will be no fear of repercussions. Employees must be empowered to report bullying incidents, especially when managers or senior figures are at fault, and they must be investigated promptly. 
 
TrainingEducation and training for all employees on appropriate workplace behaviour is essential, for example through workshops and dedicated training sessions. It is also important to equip managers with the skills to deal with difficult situations quickly and diplomatically.
 
Record everythingEnsure allegations made by both the bully and by the victim are written down and retained. This way you will have a solid record to refer to if claims need to be substantiated with quantifiable evidence, which will also help tackle any false claims of workplace bullying being made.
 
Set appropriate workplace valuesSetting appropriate workplace values will help encourage good behaviour by all managers and employees.  Letting potential job applicants know your culture and values before they join can also help to prevent bullying incidents. 

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