Staffing Resources

Do You Have a Workplace Bully? | Overcoming Office Bullying

October 23rd, 2015

Incidents of workplace bullying are continually in the news today. It seems as if grown adults are having problems managing their anger and being respectful to others. There are also other forms of insidious behaviors that include manipulation, coercion, deception, and ostracization that workplace bullies use to terrorize their co-workers. How can you, as a manager, overcome workplace bullying in your own company?

Know the Signs of Workplace Bullying

The very best way to arm yourself against bullies is to understand the signs of this kind of negative workplace behavior. Being educated can help you to stop bullying before it has a chance to degrade your team. Some of the signs of bullying at work include:

  • Team members who suddenly become withdrawn or defensive around others
  • Small groups or cliques of employees breaking off from the main team
  • Actual complaints from employees that they don’t want to work with someone
  • Increased conflict or tension between two or more employees
  • Employee tardiness or turnover rates dramatically increase
  • Reports of threats made by an employee towards another
  • Noticeable anger or other emotional issues displayed by an employee on the job

Enacting an Anti-Workplace Bullying Policy

Every company should have a written policy in place that clearly states workplace bullying and other forms of violence will be met with swift disciplinary action. Don’t just stop here. Educate employees and have regular communication about this kind of activity and what will happen to offenders.

Take Reports Seriously

If an employee complains about a particular employees or indicates that he or she has been threatened or treated badly, it’s your job as a manager to take it seriously and investigate this activity. Have a private meeting with several team members to gain added insight into what’s going on in the team. If there is a problem, take the alleged offender into the office to address this and let them know workplace bullying is prohibited, defining what it is and advising the employee that they are being observed for the next 30 days.

 

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