Over a quarter of Americans report that they have been bullied at work, according to a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute.
This means that bullying is still an everyday fact of life. And unfortunately, offices are no exception. To make things worse, many companies have ideal structures for hidden bullying to thrive in – Hierarchies of management in which superiors are rarely questioned.
Bullying in the workplace isn’t just unpleasant for the victims but can also have a huge impact on the performance of a business itself. Bullying can hugely increase staff turnover and negatively impact the performance of the victims, perpetrators, and entire departments.’
How To Prevent Bullying
Here are eight positive steps managers can take to help minimize and root out the scourge of bullying.
1. Accept that it exists
It’s important to accept that it’s inevitable there will be at least some bullying in your department. This isn’t something that just happens elsewhere so you need to expect and be wary of it.
2. Be an example
According to the above-mentioned Workplace Bullying Institute survey, 56% of bullies held a higher rank in the organization. Managers can be the source of bullying and set the tone so it’s important that your behavior is impeccable.
3. Connect with your team regularly
It’s important to meet with your team on a regular basis, even if you’re busy. As their manager, you need to build a rapport with them. Most importantly they need to feel that you are available and accessible if they want to discuss sensitive subjects such as bullying with you.
4. Have a team policy
Work with your team to come up with a set of tenets and policies that govern behavior. By involving everyone the group will have set the rules and will feel more accountable and responsible for their personal and collective actions.
5. Keep an open door
Have a policy that anyone can come and talk to you about anything at any time. That way your team won’t feel reticent about approaching you and any approaches won’t feel out of place or be regarded suspiciously.
6. Act quickly and objectively
If you do hear any reports of bullying act on them straight away, even if it’s only a minor instance. Also, when making any investigations or actions, always act impartially no matter which members of your time are involved.
7. Take appropriate action
If you do find evidence of bullying take measure to correct it immediately. Consult with your HR department and other managers to make sure you agree on what punishment is fair.
8. Keep your eye out
Last but not least, it’s important to always watch your team. Many victims of bullying won’t report it.
Employee monitoring software is an excellent way to see how your staff is working and interacting with one another. Solutions such as KnowIT can be installed remotely onto all of your team’s devices where it will record all communications and the apps and websites they use.
Using the software you’ll be able to quickly tell if one team member is bullying another and will have clear and objective evidence to back any claims.